2020. What a year. But before we get to 2021, help your family this November do something that may seem a little odd after all we’ve been through—help them be grateful. Use the Gratitude Prompts to help them express gratitude. Pray for each other, that God will help you face each week with an attitude of gratitude.
You can use the prompts in a few ways:
OPTION #1: As a family, go through the prompts all month long and randomly pick a circle. Maybe it’s a good dinner time activity! (Note: Don’t feel like you have to do this every single day. Choose a column or row, or go through the chart in whatever way makes the most sense for your family.) Read a prompt and ask each family member to think of a person or story that comes to mind and share it with everyone.
OPTION #2: If you want to remember your answers, fill in each box with each person’s answers. Or have each person fill in their own chart.
OPTION #3: If possible, send a thank you note, text, email, or handmade card to the people you think about to let them know you are thankful for them.
OPTION #4: Planning a Thanksgiving dinner? Go around the table and have each person pick a prompt and share about a person or story that comes to mind.
We have some Manna Bags that are for sale if any family would like to pick some up. Please contact Emily, email, if you’d like to purchase and pick them up for $5 each.
If you would like to make your own Manna Bags at home, these are the items that we use to make them:
- Fruit Gummy Pack (small): Kellogg’s Fruity Snacks Variety Pack (2.5 oz., 36 ct.)
- Beef Jerky/Slim Jims: Slim Jim Original (120 ct.)
- GO GO Apple Sauce: GoGo SqueeZ Applesauce, Apple Apple (3.2 oz., 28 ct.)
- Salted peanuts or mixed nuts (2 oz pkg): Planters Snack Nuts Variety Pack (1.75 oz. Pouches, 24 ct.)
- Small waters: Member’s Mark Purified Bottled Water (8oz / 80pk
- Cheese and peanut butter crackers: Lance Sandwich Crackers, Variety Pack (1.41 oz., 40 ct.)
- Vienna Sausage: Armour Vienna Sausage (4.6 oz. can, 18 ct.)
- Breakfast bar: Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey Crunchy Granola Bars (49 pk.)
- Plastic fork and spoon w/napkin: Member’s Mark White Plastic Cutlery Packets (200 ct.)
- Gallon Freeze Ziplocs: Ziploc Storage Slider Gallon Bags (120 ct.)
- Hillsborough Homeless Coalition Street Survival Guide (.pdf)
- Jesus Loves Me card
- Sanitary Wipes
This Sunday, our Merge Youth Ministry returns to the real world, leaving the virtual one behind! Youth will meeting under the big white tent between the Ministry Offices and Knox Hall. Middle School students will gather from 3-4:30 p.m. and High School students from 4:30-6 p.m. Students should wear a mask and bring a water bottle they can fill from the campus cooler.
Are you good with construction, painting or decorating? We could use your help as we create nine scenes for our Drive Through Nativity we are planning to do in December for our congregation. Construction crews will meet on Saturday mornings in October, November, and December from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Please email Mac Charalambous to let him know of your skills and availability to help with this team!
It’s time for Family Trivia!
Moms, Dads, Grandparents and Kids of all ages are invited!
Merge and Children’s Ministries can’t wait to see your whole family for a night of virtual trivia
6:30 p.m. on Sept. 16
We’ll get to connect and have fun together as a church family on Zoom. Each family will be joining other families to make teams of 2-5 families. Each team will create a team name, choose a team captain and will work together to answer general knowledge, pop culture and Bible trivia questions.
*If your family joins on separate devices, you may be on separate teams*
All ages are welcome!
RSVP here for the Zoom link and password. Questions? Ask Melissa!
In an effort to help our parents navigate through the many issues associated with in-person learning, we are sharing this information from the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County:
As in-person learning at schools resumes, everyone in their households should take steps to stay healthy and protect each other from getting sick. Practice everyday preventive actions, limit interactions with other people, and stay informed on COVID-19 updates.
Back to School Planning: How to protect your family and loved ones
For many families, back to school planning will look different this year than it has in previous years. Your school will have new policies in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. You may also be starting the school year with at-home learning. Whatever the situation, these tips are intended to help parents, guardians and caregivers plan and prepare for the upcoming school year.
- Children should be advised to do the following:
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer comprised of at least 60% alcohol. Make sure you are using a safe product. FDA provides a list of hand sanitizers consumers should not use. Adults should monitor children while they use hand sanitizer.
- Maintain a recommended physical distance from other people, including other students.
- Avoid sharing objects with other students, including water bottles, devices, writing instruments and books.
- Monitor how they feel and tell an adult if they are not feeling well.
- Develop daily routines before and after school—for example, things to pack for school in the morning (like hand sanitizer and a backup mask) and things to do when you return home (like washing hands immediately and washing worn cloth masks). Wash your hands immediately after taking off a mask.
- Be familiar with your school’s plan for how they will communicate with families when a positive case or exposure to someone with COVID-19 is identified and ensure student privacy is upheld.
Older adults and people with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for serious illness from COVID-19. If your household includes anyone who is at increased risk, then all family members should exercise the appropriate precautions.
People who live in multi-generational households may find it difficult to take precautions to protect themselves from COVID-19 or isolate those who are sick, especially if space is limited. It is important to understand potential risks and how to adopt different types of prevention measures to protect your family and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The CDC recently created guidance for multi-generational households. Although the guidance was developed as part of the CDC’s outreach to tribal communities, the information could be useful for all families, including those with both children and older adults in the same home. You can also contact your local health department for guidance.