My co-chairman for Sunday School events and I are an ESTJ and an ISTJ (Myers-Briggs). When we plan for our annual Sunday School Recognition each May to close out the Sunday School year, we start planning in May of the previous year! In 2013, our Sunday School Recognition coincided with Pentecost.
Last summer (in 2012) we “commissioned” a family member to create these simple doves as teacher presents. Check. They were fired, glazed, and put away with a careful note in my nagging software to tell me where I put them.
In Lent, we started planning for Pentecost. We ordered dove kite kits that we could repackage for a simple gift for each child. Done. And what would our short program be? We did the Blown-Up Pentecost just last year and it seemed too soon to repeat. I wanted something interactive – so a kite liturgy that we found online plus kite gifts were just the ticket! Our nursery chairman wanted to give a gift to the “graduating” kindergartners who were aging out of the nursery, so we ordered copies of Alleluia! Amen. (pictured below with mischievous Milo) and they arrived in plenty of time. Done and done!
We purchased gift cards at the coffee shop up the street from our church for all teachers, too. I made red envelopes for them (which mischievous Milo promptly scattered in the picture above).
What could go wrong with such meticulous advance planning?
And is it going “wrong” if the Holy Spirit gently nudges us along a different path? Well, NO! But we are results driven people and we apparently need more than gentle nudges.
On Friday before Pentecost, I get a text from my co-chairman asking, “Did the dove kites arrive?” Whoops! I searched my e-mail confirmations, fired off an e-mail and received an answer on Saturday morning: “Oh, we forgot to send them.” (!!!)
I being otherwise overcommitted that Saturday, my fearless friend went out to find appropriate small gifts for the children. She had seen rainbow kites at the right price at the Dollar Store as well as a few other things; these would fit okay with the kite liturgy.
Except the power went off in our town where the Dollar Store was. Suddenly kites became pinwheels after she made a frantic trip to the side of town with power- and pinwheels don’t fit with the kite liturgy. (Upon reading this over, she says I omitted the part where she was sprawled on the floor of Stuff Mart separating out the orange and red pinwheels from the blue and green pinwheels…)
More searching on the internet found this interactive story, which we slightly rewrote to use some Godly Play language – and pinwheels and a mighty wind fit right in!
Traditionally, the youth (grades 6-12) receive chocolate for a gift. We found Dove chocolates on sale (in keeping with our Pentecost theme) and packaged them up.
And, we finished up by packaging up a few candies (Hot Tamales) for the younger children, to remind them of the Holy Spirit.
At the close of the program, we sang “Happy Birthday” to the Church and had cake and punch. It was a fun day that ran like clockwork, once we co-chairmen managed to get out of the way of the Holy Spirit!