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Stewardship Amid Hurricanes

"O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

for his steadfast love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
those he redeemed from trouble
and gathered in from the lands,
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.
Some wandered in desert wastes,
finding no way to an inhabited town,
hungry and thirsty,
their soul fainted within them.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress;
he led them by a straight way,
until they reached an inhabited town.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wonderful works to humankind.
For he satisfies the thirsty,
and the hungry he fills with good things."
(Psalm 107:1-9)

Background

Psalm 107 was sung perhaps by a group of people who traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate a festival. This Psalm exclaims their thanks for escaping from various dangers. In the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, we are acutely aware of the loss and needs of others. Many young children wisely have been protected from seeing this devastation and human loss. For older children, these natural disasters offer a prime opportunity to teach the value of the many things that hurricane survivors have lost. Stewardship reminds us not to take for granted the everyday necessities of life. In remembering the value of simple things, we may encourage prayer and giving.

Activity

Decorate a container with stickers, hearts, Scripture verses, and one picture from Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Rita. Cut a slit into the top of the container to make a bank. Be sure to have plenty of change to fill the bank before beginning the activity.

Take an inventory of specific items in your home and place the assigned amount in the container. Contribute the collected money to your local church for the UMCOR Hurricane Fund:

For each displayed photograph of a family member $.50 each
For each quilt, blanket, and/or throw $.10 each
For each pillow (decorative and bed) $.10 each
For each bed $.25 each
For each pair of shoes $.10 each
For each glass that you can use for a drink of water $.10 each
For each meal that you eat for one week $.25 each

Prayer

Thank you, Lord, for your constant love.
Thank you for hearing and helping when we are in need.
Help us to appreciate the many things that we take for granted.
Bless and use this money to help those children and families
who have lost so much in Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

Ruth M. Blum is an ordained United Methodist Deacon who serves as Associate Pastor of Children and Families at Dove of the Desert United Methodist Church in Glendale, Arizona.

Posted in 2005.

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