Coins for Lent 2021
By Kevin Johnson
During Lent, many of us are reminded once again to examine our lifestyles and ask, "What can we do for others?" Part of faith formation at any age is compassion and offering a serving heart to our neighbors. This past year has been challenging when trying to find ways to serve our neighbors while remaining physically distant. This past year also has reminded us that we need to demonstrate compassion to others now more than ever. Lent is a good time to commit to giving money to a project that helps those in need. One way to involve the whole family is to collect coins during the season of Lent and then following Easter, donate the money. Follow our Coins for Lent Giving Calendar as a guide.
If you decide to do this as a family or as a congregation, first determine where you would like your money to go. Regardless of their age, let everyone have a voice. Maybe you have a community food bank that could use funds to purchase food for the hungry. Perhaps you could contribute to a larger project beyond your local community. Maybe you would like to contribute to those affected by COVID-19.
Heifer International is an agency that addresses needs around the world and helps families to become self-sufficient in sustainable ways. The United Methodist Church and Heifer International share a vision of ending hunger and poverty. You can find out more about Heifer International at heifer.org. You may know of another project to which you would like to give your money. Click the link to the UMC General Board of Global Missions to find other Advance mission opportunities to donate money; https://advance.umcmission.org/. Ask within your United Methodist Annual Conference or district to find other local projects you can also help to support. Select an agency that would appreciate your contribution.
Once you have selected a project, decide what coins you want to collect. You may want to contribute a quarter for every item on the giving calendar. You may want to simply collect loose change and give whatever coins you have for each item.
Now make a container to collect the money. Use a plastic tub, jar, or a coin bank that you aren’t currently using in your home. Decorate it and place it where the entire family can see it (and contribute to it).
Items on the daily guide will remind us of all we have and how little others may have. Each Sunday, pray as a family for the project and the people who will benefit from your gifts. Our giving begins on Ash Wednesday and concludes with Holy Saturday. During Lent, Sundays are for worship and praise to God and are reflected with a weekly day of prayer.
- Ash Wednesday – February 17: A coin for every lamp
- February 18: A coin for every light switch
- February 19: A coin for every candle
- February 20: A coin for every flashlight (include your smartphone).
- February 21: Pray today, thanking God for the gift of light. Pray for those who live in darkness.
- February 22: A coin for every box of Band-Aids®
- February 23: A coin for every bottle of vitamins
- February 24: A coin for every box of tissues
- February 25: A coin for every bottle of hand sanitizer.
- February 26: A coin for every toothbrush and tube of toothpaste
- February 27: A coin for every COVID-19 mask found in your house.
- February 28: Pray today, thanking God for your health. Pray for those who are sick.
- March 1: A coin for every ball cap or hat
- March 2: A coin for every pair of shoes
- March 3: A coin for every pair of jeans or pants
- March 4: A coin for every coat
- March 5: A coin for every t-shirt
- March 6: A coin for every sweatshirt
- March 7: Pray today, thanking God for clothing that protects you from the elements. Pray for those who lack clothing to keep them warm and dry.
- March 8: A coin for every ball or piece of athletic equipment
- March 9: A coin for every electronic video game
- March 10: A coin for every smart device (phones, tablets, etc.)
- March 11: A coin for every television
- March 12: A coin for every doll or stuffed animal
- March 13: A coin for every board or card game
- March 14: Pray today, thanking God for how you can enjoy entertainment in your home. Pray for those who would be grateful for just one of these items.
- March 15: A coin for every box of cereal
- March 16: A coin for every can of soup
- March 17: A coin for every type of bread
- March 18: A coin for every jar of jelly
- March 19: A coin for every bottle of salad dressing
- March 20: A coin for every jar of peanut butter
- March 21: Pray today, thanking God for the food you enjoy. Pray for those who have no food this day.
- March 22: A coin for every room in your home
- March 23: A coin for every electrical outlet in your home
- March 24: A coin for every chair in your home
- March 25: A coin for every desk in your home (virtual work/school)
- March 26: A coin for every bathroom
- March 27: A coin for every bed
- March 28 (Palm Sunday): Pray today, thanking God for shelter. Pray for those who have no place to sleep at night.
- March 29: A coin for every Bible
- March 30: A coin for every book of hymns or sacred songs in your home
- March 31: A coin for every cross in your home
- April 1: A coin for every prayer you say today
- April 2: A coin for every story of Jesus you can tell
- April 3: A coin for every person in your family
- Easter Sunday, April 4: Pray, thanking God for Jesus and for the many ways we can gather and worship God. Pray for those who will receive the coins collected that they would see God’s presence through them.
Rev. Kevin Johnson is the Director, Children’s Ministries for Congregational Vitality & Intentional Discipleship at Discipleship Ministries. Kevin’s hero Fred Rogers suggests that we, “listen to the children, learn about them, learn from them. Think of the children first.” This quote defines Rev. Kev’s approach to ministry. Kevin, an ordained elder of the Kentucky Annual Conference, has over fifteen years of ministry experience in which he has thought of the children first. Prior to ministry, Kevin worked with children in the hospital setting and in group homes for emotionally and physically abused children.