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We certainly can find many scripture references to confirm that our great God expects us all to have an “Attitude of Gratitude.” For example:

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Philippians 4:6).

And, we know that God encourages us to share what He provides and to care for those less fortunate:

Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world (James 1:26-27).

God empowers our attitude with action for others …

One way to prompt action is to organize your thanks-giving into categories such as personal, community, and global. SPECIAL NOTE: The ideas listed below apply to ALL generations — this is a wonderful way to help children learn to have an “attitude of gratitude”!

For personal blessings you might take action in these ways:

  1. Write thank-you notes to all the people who serve you in some way — doctors, teachers, supervisors, babysitters, you name it! Be specific about how they are a blessing to you. Include a Bible verse such as — I thank my God every time I remember you (Philippians 1:3). If possible, hand-deliver these.
  2. Share time with people who have blessed you, find ways to be a blessing to them. Take your parents to lunch, babysit for a neighbor who has mowed your lawn — the possibilities are endless!
  3. Send a special mite offering in honor of someone who has been a blessing to you.

For local and community blessings, consider these options:

  1. Assemble Thanksgiving baskets (bags, boxes, etc.) for families in need.
    1. Solicit names of families from local schools, food banks, or social service agencies such as the Salvation Army. Be sure to ask your pastor if there is anyone in your own congregation who might be in need.
    2. Include everything needed to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner — turkey, stuffing mix, canned vegetables, etc. Some churches include a Bible or a child’s Bible.
    3. Have volunteers deliver the baskets the week before Thanksgiving.
       
  2. Prepare Thanksgiving treat bags for distribution at a nursing home. Be sure to check with the nursing home staff to get a list of things that are most useful and safe for the residents.
    1. Include non-food items such as socks, lotion, stamps, and note cards. For more ideas refer to the Gospel Outreach Toolkit.
    2. Be sure to include a devotional such as Comfort from the Psalms Large Print Mustard Seeds.
    3. Gather a group to go to a facility and hand out the treat bags.
       
  3. Consider having Sunday school classes write letters to nursing home residents or church members who are shut-ins.
  4. Some churches gather for a Thanksgiving dinner for members who have no family nearby, other than their church family of course! Why not extend that to the community?
  5. Remember first responders in your community by baking cookies for the closest police department or fire house. Deliver them before lunch time with a heartfelt note of thanks for their service. Let them know you pray for their safety — and then follow through on that!
  6. Reach out to the military service people in your church and community by sending them care packages. Include a note thanking them for their service and promising to pray for them. You might also have a special offering for the purchase of Military BibleSticks. Your donations allow military chaplains to order the Military BibleSticks at no charge for the troops who protect our nation and preserve our freedoms.

For global blessings, remember missionaries around the world in these ways:

  1. Send care packages to missionaries supported by your congregation. Refer to the Caring for Missionaries page on the LWML website.
  2. Publicize LWML mission projects at both the district and national level by displaying posters and featuring them in church bulletins and newsletters. Refer to the Mission Grant Resources page on the LWML website.
  3. Hold a special LWML mite thank-offering one Sunday at church. Suggest that people dedicate their mite offering in the name of someone special.

A Prayer as You Plan:

Dear Father in Heaven, how can I possibly find enough words to express my thanks to you for sending your Son to die in my place? Father, I can’t ever be perfect like Jesus but I can strive to adopt a servant attitude like His. Please, through the gift of your Holy Spirit, lead me in the direction you would have me go — put people in my path and love in my heart. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

Looking Ahead:

Get ready for Giving Tuesday on Tuesday, November 27, 2018. You can practice your “attitude of gratitude” AND double your impact thanks to the generosity of two donors who will match up to $20,000. Find out more at www.lwml.org/givingtuesday.

The Gospel Outreach Committee would love to hear about and share your mission service activities! Please contact us through the LWML email at depgo@lwml.org. Thank you!

View past Mission Service Activities

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