This past fall, First UMC Cary distributed ARK cards. What happened next was pretty amazeballs. Here’s some words that Pastor Carl shared after the cards were first distributed:
The stories started coming in almost immediately. At lunch on Sunday, Mary-Ellen and I were visiting with some friends, talking about the ARK (Acts of Random Kindness) cards that we had distributed in worship that morning. Our server was standing at the table and told us that she had already received one – about an hour before. In other words, before I could even get out of the building, you were transforming the community.
The stories have continued to come in:
Several people have bought meals for others at the Fair Booth.
One member bought groceries for someone in line behind her on Sunday night. She chose not to leave a card in order for the gift to remain anonymous, but the recipient caught up with her in the parking lot, asking “You’re a Christian, aren’t you?”
Another member had noticed that a neighbor’s car had a rear window broken in for some time. It dawned on him that she could not afford to have it repaired. He left the money for her in an envelope on the dash of the car.
We want to hear your stories. We want to celebrate what God is doing through us for others.
Last Sunday, we had 3,000 ARK cards available; at the end of the morning there were less than 100 left. All week, we have had requests for cards from many of you who were not present but heard about the challenge and watched the sermon on-line. So, we have had more cards printed – they will be available Sunday….
In the meantime, keep building ARKS. Continue to allow God to use you. It’ll change you, for sure, but more it’ll change the community. And that may lead us to change the world.
Grace and peace to you. -rcf
Powerful words, powerful deeds, powerful responses. So, in light of our month of kindness at the ROCK, we are encouraging the kids to do the same – there are ARK cards in an envelope in the bins of all the elementary aged kiddos. Please send home AT LEAST 2 cards per child – you probably have enough in there for 5 per child – make them gone. And spend a moment talking with them about how to use them, what they represent and how a little act of kindness can, indeed, transform the world. Next time you see that child, encourage them to share how they used their cards and share the ARKS they built.
That’s why we’re taking the whole month to look more closely at kindness: showing others they are valuable by how you treat them with our Elementary aged kids.
All month we’ll be working on memorizing Luke 6:31, “Do to others as you want them to do to you.” This simple verse is a great reminder of what Jesus said about Kindness. We would want others to show kindness towards us, so it’s important that we turn around and show kindness to them as well.
We finish the month in Acts 9:26-30. We find out that Saul, the guy whose main goal in life was to wipe out Jesus’ followers, had recently met Jesus and believed in Him. It’s no surprise that when he went to meet with Jesus’ followers, they had a hard time trusting that his story was real. But Barnabas took a risk. He chose to believe Saul’s story and helped the rest of the disciples accept Saul as well. Barnabas is a great example for us and helps us discover that we should show kindness to people who aren’t kind to us.
Bottom Line: Be kind to people who aren’t kind to you. There will be people who won’t always be nice to you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try to show kindness to them. We hope kids see that they can be kind even if people aren’t kind in return.
Through the stories this month, we hope kids will understand that showing kindness is really important. Not only is kindness a fruit of the Spirit (which is the focus of our ROCKStars (4th/5th grade fellowship) gatherings this year); but it’s also one of the best ways to tap into Jesus’ character. When we show kindness to others, we are reflecting the heart of Jesus to them.
As a parent or leader, one of the most powerful things you can do this month is help a child understand how they can cooperate with God to treat people with kindness; how they would want to be treated. And who knows, their own version of Undercover Kindness might just end up changing the world.
In the Preschool world, it’s love month! It’s love month! I love love month. All those hearts. All the pink, red and purple. And all that chocolate. Oh wait, that’s not what love month is all about. Love month is about showing the people around us how much we really do care. Or, in the new lingo, that we <3 them. We love them.
No matter how much love and how many <3s we shower on our favorite people, it will never be anything compared to the love that Jesus has for us. Jesus’ love is immeasurable. It’s wide and long and high and deep. It’s forever. It’s huge. It’s awesome. It’s what we want our preschoolers to know about this month.
We’re going to tell some love stories this month. No, not the Hallmark channel ones—the real ones from the Bible. The ones that show us how much Jesus loves us. We’ll start with two parables that Jesus told to show us how much we are loved. This week is the story of the lost sheep. That shepherd searched and searched until he found the lost sheep. That shepherd loved his lost sheep just as Jesus loves us.
Our team will be praying for you, our shepherds, to have moments filled with wonder as you give preschoolers a “first look” at the God who loves them, made them, and wants to be their friend forever.
Holy ARK, Batman, you read the whole thing – I <3 U!
Here are your lessons for the week:
By Dan Scott ©2014 The reThink Group. All rights reserved. www.ThinkOrange.com *Used by permission.