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:

Provide kid-friendly service activities:

  • Connect learning to exploration of how participants, too, can live out King’s legacy of participating in civic improvement

Start small:

  • 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.