Every family has traditions. Our family has carved or decorated a Halloween pumpkin for many MANY years, but people have been celebrating Halloween for hundreds of years. Halloween is always celebrated on October 31st; Halloween is also called “All Hallow’s Eve” or “The Eve of All Saints Day. All Saints Day is always one day later, on November 1st. All Soul’s Day, or Dia de Muertos (“Day of the Dead”) is celebrated on November 2nd.
On All Saints Day we honor the saints of the church. Some people think the only important saints are the saints who lived long ago, like St. Francis of Assisi, St. Peter or St. Patrick. Other people think that a person who is a saint has to be perfect in every way. There are saints all around us! They are thoughtful and kind people, who are not always perfect, but are always generous with their time, and ready to help others. They love God, and love their neighbor as much as they love themselves. We learn about God and about caring for others from the saints around us.
Have you ever watched “Mr. Rogers”? Mr. Rogers was a minister who wanted to remind children and adults that everyone is special, and that we all need help sometimes; “Each one of us is a giver and a receiver.” He wanted children to know that they can be loved just as they are; “each of us has something that no one else has … something inside that is unique to all time.” He taught us to “Look for the helpers.” While Mr. Rogers was a brave and generous man, and is loved by thousands of children and adults, he was not perfect. None of us are!
Who are the saints in your life? Who are the people who treat you with love, enjoy spending time with you, stand up for you and are always kind to you? It might be your grandparent, aunt or uncle, your teacher or your neighbor. It might be a very good friend. Ask your parents to tell you about special people who loved and cared for them. Who are or were the saints in their lives?
There is a very well-known hymn called: “I Sing a Song of the Saints of God.” Take some time to listen to it. The hymn was written by a mother, whose children asked her: “Mama, what’s a saint?”
I always loved the last verse of that hymn!
They lived not only in ages past;
there are hundreds of thousands still.
The world is bright with the joyous saints
who love to do Jesus’ will.
You can meet them in school, on the street, in the store,
in church, by the sea, in the house next door;
they are saints of God, whether rich or poor,
and I mean to be one too. (From: https://www.hymnsite.com/lyrics/umh712.sht)
Jesus said: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” – Matthew 5:9
May the week ahead be filled with goodness and with many blessings,
This week’s Creation Care resources for families – shared by Reverend Sue & the Creation Care Team:
HUNGER: Photographer Peter Menzel took photos of 36 families in 24 countries; each family is shown with the food that they eat in one week. Countries include Australia, Bhutan, Cuba, Sudan, Ecuador, Greeenland, Japan, Mali, …the list goes on. All of the photos & information can also be found here. Menzel’s photographs and information about each family were collected in 2 books; What the World Eats is for kids, and Hungry Planet is for adults.
Select a country with food security issues, and plan a typical meal of the poorest people, possibly rice or porridge, to help establish an appreciation for the challenges the less fortunate face in feeding themselves.
WATER HEATERS: Children of a certain age can be taught about the sources of energy we use to heat water. And they can be taught to be wise about the use of energy in heating our water, and the use of water itself. Teach your children to use hot water sparingly. Siblings can have a family competition to see how little water they can use in a day. Keep a chart. Offer a prize. You can educate your children early about the reasons we should conserve water and use it mindfully.
JUNKMAIL: Use that junk mail to play Post Office with your children; they’d also have fun making paper airplanes, paper fans, or paper snowflakes.
WIND POWER: Visit the three wind turbines near the Blackburn Circle. Stand underneath and marvel at their height and size…and listen.