Prayer Activity for Deceased Pets

On October 4th, we celebrate the life of St. Francis who is the patron saint of animals, merchants, and ecology. Traditionally the church comes together to bless our beloved animals on this Feast Day. However, many of us have experienced the death of a beloved pet as well.

Children are naturally sensitive to life and death, and they often feel the death of pets very deeply. We’ve included a smooth rock in each Faith at Home box for this activity.

On Sunday, October 4th before 4:00pm, we invite families to come to the church graveyard and make your way to the bench nearest the handicap parking area. There will be a station with paint pens, hand sanitizer, and rocks for painting. You can make a prayer rock for a deceased pet and find a special place around the bench or around the tree next to it to place your rock.

Bird Seed Cakes

One of the many things St. Francis of Assisi is remembered for is his sermon to the birds. You can read more about it here. In honor of St. Francis, you and your household can make Bird Seek Cakes for the birds that share your backyard or your favorite walking places. In your kit you’ll find birdseed, string, 2 packs of gelatin, and the recipe.

Seed Paper Planting

You received a small envelope with seed paper and planting instructions. You can plant this in a small clay pot (you can find these cheap at Lowe’s or Home Depot), or plant directly into the ground! They are filled with a variety of beautiful wildflowers.

The plants tolerate partial shade and need 4 hours a day of direct sunlight. Will grow to about 3′. The blend of seeds was chosen to ensure that regardless of your growing region some of the plant seeds embedded in our paper will flourish. Germination may begin as quickly as one week or may take up to six weeks depending on your regional growing zone. If you plant this paper in a pot, or in your garden please cover with just 1/8” of soil and keep moist until established.

Circle Weaving Coaster

If you’d like to do more creating, check out this short activity on weaving coasters with cardboard and twine. Click the image for a pdf download. No printing necessary.

Art Reflection: The Sower

In your box you received a printed copy of one of Vincent Van Gogh’s beautiful paintings titled “The Sower.” On the back, you’ll find a guided art reflection. Art is one of the most poignant ways we engage with God through sub-creating, both in reflection and art-making.

Nature Paints

Explore this activity with all ages. Learn how to use plants and everyday things (turmeric, lemon, blackberries, etc) to make watercolor paints. The lesson itself is designed as an educational tool for learning acids and based. For youth or older children, you can skip those parts and just have fun mixing different ingredients to make natural watercolor paint! Your kit includes a sheet of cardstock, but if you would like watercolor paper, you can find it in the Graebner room next to the pop-up library.

Scavenger Hunt

Take these fun, laminated (good for multi-use and multi-weather) scavenger hunts on your nature walks. You can use a dry erase marker to mark items off when you find them and reuse them another day! They are included for families with younger children. For youth, a more directive way of engaging in nature can be to walk outside and go through your 5 senses (for taste and smell – putting a peppermint in your mouth while you walk heightens those senses!). For families who would like an additional scavenger hunt activity, you can download and print this 5 senses nature hunt.

Geographical Features Education Cards

These are simple learning tools for younger children who may want to explore a variety of geographical and geological features found on and in the earth. You can use these as a monthly challenge and memorize them, or as a simpler activity and work through them, perhaps looking for some of them in your everyday life.

Imagination – Starry Night

Imagination and faith go hand in hand. the Bible says, ‘Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen’ (Hebrews 11:1, NRSV). As we cultivate a life of faith, we must rely on our imaginations. We envision a better world and we imagine what God is like. We must be imaginative to see things from another’s perspective. Most…young people…are gifted imaginers; we as adults need only to tune in to what is already there. This activity allows families to imagine together.

  1. Gather your blankets, hot chocolate or cider, bug spray, and flashlights.
  2. On a clear, comfortable night with a lot of stars visible, gather everyone together for a nighttime imagination star party.
  3. If you wish, offer this verse as a prayer: “God determines the number of stars and calls them each by name” (Psalm 147:4 (NIV).
  4. Ponder together how amazing it is how all of those stars were created by God. God must be so creative to put all of these stars in the sky.
  5. Lie down on blankets under the stars and invite everyone to look at the stars and talk about what pictures or patterns they can find in the stars.
  6. When you are finished, offer thanks to God for the wonder of the universe, for the stars and the moon to light up the night and invite us into a spirit of imagination.

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