Summer Activities @ NS
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised. -Psalm 113:3
Summer consists of longer days enabling a family to spend more time outside, doing special activities, and making memories. From the moment the sun rises to where it sets, it is an opportunity to praise the Lord for all the blessings he provides as individuals but also as families.
We want to provide you a summer checklist of items to do to make sure this summer doesn’t pass you by. The next few months in your schedule is a unique opportunity to draw closer to Jesus and one another. We want to equip you with some ideas to make sure both of those happen.
Treat this booklet not as a calendar but a checklist. We are giving you 16 items to do in the summer of 2016. Go through the items and make plans on your calendar, and check them off as you go along. These activities are intended to let a family of any shape or size grow together.
#1. Make a Summer Memory Jar
Summertime is full of so many special moments, you might forget some of them! Put an empty jar or container in a prominent place within your home. Put some small pieces of paper and a pen beside it. As you go through the summer, write down memories you make together as a family. They could be funny moments, lessons learned, exciting opportunities, individual milestones, etc. At the conclusion of summer, empty the jar and celebrate the memories together.
#2. Prayer Basket
Our church is blessed with so many wonderful people! Prioritize to pray for different people this summer. Make a prayer basket to sit on the kitchen table. Compile a group of people that you want to pray for in the church over the summer. You could gather Christmas cards within the container or pictures of certain families. You could write names of people on popsicle sticks or pieces of paper. Include elders, staff members, your children’s teachers, volunteers, discipleship group members, etc. Make it a variety of names. When you have a prayer time over a meal, pull out one name and pray for that person or family specifically.
#3. Prioritize Hospitality
Open up your home this summer to a family in the church. Carve out time where you don’t have to be rushed. Enjoy a meal together. Play some games in the backyard. Over the meal, have someone in your family pray for the other family and vice versa. Schedule a time and prioritize hospitality.
#4. Listen to the Heavens
Psalm 19 tells us that the heavens are telling the glory of God. Take a moment this summer to listen to what the heavens are saying. Whether it is by watching a sunrise or a sunset, taking a walk under a starry sky, or beholding a glorious cloud configuration, watch it together as a family and read Psalm 19 together. Talk about what the heavens tell us about God.
#5. Seek and Find
Play a game of seek and find together as a family. Hide a special item(s) in the house or the backyard that will benefit the entire family and tell them what it is (sum of money, gift card to ice cream store, some special item, etc). Then let the family go with urgency to find the item. Once the item is found, read Luke 15:1-10 together and discuss the passage together. How urgent is Jesus to find us? After talking about his desire to find us, enjoy what was found together.
#6. Serve a Service Person
We have wonderful service people who help make our lives safer and better every day. Either write a note, get a gift card, or get a baked good into the hands of a service person (military, veteran, police officer, fireman, etc.). Tell them how much you appreciate them and how they remind you of Jesus since they serve others (Mark 10:45).
#7. Love a Neighbor (Sting Operation)
Think of a neighbor that you can serve in a tangible way but it must be a surprise! Maybe you do yard work when they aren’t at home, bring over a favorite treat, write an encouraging note in chalk on their driveway, or serve them in a practical way, but try to be sneaky about it. Serve them and find a way to thank them for being such a great neighbor.
#8. Revisit Memory Lane
Find an older relative or friend and interview them about life when they were young. Ask them questions about what life was like. Ask them what their favorite memories were about childhood or a special time in life. As you listen, have your ears open to a memory you could recreate. Maybe it is something simple (a cold Coke in a glass bottle) or something more involved (visiting a favorite childhood location). Either way, try to find a way to honor them and surprise them with revisiting memory lane.
#9. International Food Night
Either find a recipe from a different country or go to a restaurant that serves ethnic food. As you prepare to eat, create the atmosphere as close as you can (sights and sounds). Before you eat, get some prayer emphases from operationworld.org and pray for the country and missionaries from the place you are recreating.
#10. Alphabet Praise
As you travel, turn off the electronics and play the Alphabet Game. Take turns as you look for each letter on signs or license plates as you drive. You can also look for things that start with that letter. After this round or after each letter, think of one thing you can thank God for that also starts with each letter.
#11. Once Upon a Time
Either as you travel or as you hang around the house, create a story together. Have one person start the story and “pass the microphone” around to each family member. Unlike the story you create together, God’s story is united with one author – himself. What are some of the key components of God’s story? Is there a favorite story of the Bible that someone wants to read?
#12. Creation Scavenger Hunt
Either as a unit or in split-up teams, go on a creation scavenger hunt. You can do this in your backyard, park, lake, zoo, aquarium, or anywhere you think you can see all the elements. Read Genesis 1 and look for something related to each day of Creation (1 – Day and night, something that is only out at day or only out at night, 2 – sky and water, something that is made for the sky or water, 3 – land, different evidence of things made on land, 4 – sun, moon, and stars, find something that needs a lot of sunlight to live, 5 – birds and fish, spot an animal that lives in the air or underwater, 6 – land animals and people, spot as many animals that live on land, 7 – rest and reflect). Depending upon your family makeup, talk through as many items as you can. Talk about the favorite things you saw. What does God’s Creation tell us about him?
Have an opportunity for every family member to go through closets, baskets, drawers, etc. and find clothing, toys, or items to donate to someone in need. Talk about how God has met our needs and how others are less fortunate. It is OK for it to be sacrificial as well. Go together to donate the items and pray that whoever uses them will be blessed.
#14. Intentional Encouragement
Think of someone or someones in the church that have been a blessing to your family and write a note of encouragement to them. Maybe it is someone who teaches a class, leads in worship, holds a door, or helps out in another way. Read Heb. 3:13 together and talk about why it is important to encourage those who work at our church. Send out those letters or leave them where that person will see it.
#15. Family Picnic
Set a time to go have a picnic together. Get together and get outside. Let everyone be a part of the preparation of the picnic. As you eat together, talk about the things you are thankful for on that day. Talk about what is challenging about not eating inside. Read 1 Peter 2:11 and talk about how this world is not our home. How will dwelling in heaven forever be better than having to eat in temporal places as we are merely passing through?
#16. Backyard Water Park
Create your own version of a backyard water park with sprinklers, hoses, water guns, water balloons, tarps, and whatever else you can find. Enjoy cooling off on a hot day or night and enjoy the time together. Read Malachi 4:6 and talk about the importance of your family drawing close to one another. Share how much you enjoy spending time with your family and what you love about each one.
At the end of the summer, empty out the Summer Memory Jar and relive some of your family’s favorite moments. Talk about how each family member is closer to God and one another. Make commitments as school approaches of how the family can make family time a priority. Pray over the coming year.
Summer Peak Schedule:
Greenville Day: Thursday, June 9 10am-11pm
Pettit’s Pool Day: (105 Broken Ridge Dr., Gwd, 29646) Thursday, June 23 5-8pm
XFUGE on Mission Trip: Monday, June 27 – Friday, July 1
Carowinds: Thursday, July 14 8am-7pm
Lake Day at The Barrett’s: (246 Nature Dr., Waterloo, SC, 29384) Thursday, July 28 12-5pm
Emerge (Local Mission Camp): Monday, August 1 – Thursday, August 4
Civic Center Cookout: Wednesday, August 10 4-8pm
Peak Kickoff: Monday, August 15 – Wednesday, August 17 6:15-7:30pm; doors open at 4pm
Outdoor Baptism and Ice Cream Fellowship:
When: Sunday August 14th
Vacation Bible School:
When: June 13-17 // 9am – 12 Noon
Who: Rising 4K-5th Grade
As kids are submerged in God’s Word, they will discover that Jesus saw people differently. He didn’t see just what was on the outside; He saw people for who they were on the inside, down deep. As kids learn to see themselves and others as Jesus sees them, they can realize that everyone needs a Savior – even those who look like they have it all together. They will discover that a relationship with Jesus Christ changes everything!
Come join us! All you have to do is dive in!!
Registration begins May 1 and you can register online or pick up a registration form at the Welcome Desk or in The Link. For more information, contact Julie Ridgeway at 229-6010 ext. 241 or firstname.lastname@example.org.