Intergenerational MLK Day
Thanks to Jennifer Anschutz of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership for reporting on Maria-Pia Seirup’s leadership at Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church, Connecticut.
The article is a simple outline for creating your own intergenerational day of service to honor and celebrate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Start with purpose:
- Start the conversation and awareness-building in worship:
- Provide all-ages learning opportunities – especially highlighting that King was a spiritual leader and that “the civil rights movement was a spiritual calling and a grassroots effort largely based in churches”
- Find resources in our lib guides, including:
- For Children & Families:
- For Tweens & Teens:
- For Adults:
Provide kid-friendly service activities:
- Connect learning to exploration of how participants, too, can live out King’s legacy of participating in civic improvement
- bag lunches are suggested in the article, but the sky’s the limit
- additional tasks have been added over the years to accommodate a growing number of participants
Offer a break from the busyness – some children will need an alternative from the activity and noise:
- a storybook station (suggested by the article)
- prayer station (alternative; include prompts or focal points appropriate to the themes of the day/action)
- coloring station (alternative; include images appropriate to the theme of the action)
Engage volunteers of all ages:
- adults shop, prep, teach, supervise, and deliver finished products
- youth lead participants to various stations, assist with smaller children, etc.
- elders teach essential crafting/sewing skills (see article for details)
Encourage financial donations.
Invite the community:
- As we often suggest in Great Ideas: don’t limit participation to congregational members; invite the whole, broader community!!!
End on a high note.
- Share success, goals met, etc.
- Celebrate with a blessing or commissioning of end products and gratitude for participants
- Remember and highlight the connection between what has been accomplished in your day of activity and the work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Build connections. Be intentional about:
- networking with the broader community in supporting organizations doing essential equity work
- intergenerational participation
- inviting the broader community
Read the full article here.