In 1978 President Jimmy Carter declared the first Sunday following Labor Day to be “Grandparents Day” in the United States. This is a day for our nation to recognize and honor the matriarchs and patriarchs of our families. It is also an occasion to remind — even challenge — this older generation of the God-given calling on their lives to pass the faith to the next generations. If this specific Sunday is not suitable to your church for recognizing grandparents, then select any Sunday during the month of September.
There are many ways to celebrate this national day. You can be creative and extensive or you can be simple, direct. The main point is not only to honor this important generation but also to encourage them to teach their children and grandchildren to know, love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
- The easiest way to celebrate this day is to have special prayers for grandparents during your Sunday church service. Ask all grandparents to stand, have someone nearby lay hands on them and pray as a congregation for these “golden agents” that the Lord has placed in our families.
- If you want to add a sense of “appreciation” for your grandparents, have someone distribute a carnation (or any flower!) as the grandparents enter the church service. Or you may hand them out as you ask them to stand for prayers.
- Going to another level of appreciation is to include a sentence or two about grandparents in the sermon connecting their God-given role to the sermon topic for the day.
- If desired, have a special dessert in “honor” of the grandparents at your coffee hour.
- Have a “pot luck” supper either after the service or later in the afternoon inviting all grandparents to a meal celebrating them.
- Following the supper, invite all grandparents to a time of special prayers in the church giving thanks for them. Also, pray for them to become intentional about passing a legacy of faith to their children/grandchildren.
- Introduce “G@P Groups” at the dinner. “G@P Groups” are a national organization founded by Lillian Penner of www.grandparentingwithapurpose.com.
- These groups establish an intentional time of prayer where grandparents gather regularly (weekly or monthly) to pray diligently for their families.
- Not only do these groups cover loved ones with prayer but also “G@P groups” are excellent ways to promote community and fellowship vital energizing this generation.
- Close the evening with special prayers empowering this generation to go out into their families and the world sharing the Good News of Christ.