Lent Week 1: Family Activities for Sabbath

Welcome to the first week of Lent, a time of contemplation and spiritual practice to help us get ready for the mystery and joy of Easter. Here at Northbrook UMC, we are focusing on Sabbath as a gift and as a way of connecting with God and each other in an over scheduled world.

Discuss: This week, you are invited to identify those family and individual activities that are restorative. Activities that fill our hearts and souls often involve closeness, laughter, creativity, and freedom to explore. Family time builds bonds, creates memories, and has positive mental health benefits. After you’ve named some restorative activities, don’t forget to schedule them in the calendar! 


Here’s a list of restorative practices to get you started. What would you add?

  1. Play a game
  2. Cook or bake together
  3. Read a book
  4. Share your day’s highs and lows
  5. Video chat with out-of-town friends or family
  6. Take a walk
  7. Look through family photos and tell stories
  8. Color or paint together
  9. Build a blanket fort
  10. Have a joke telling contest

Pray: Dear God, thank you for this time together as a family, for the joy, the love and the laughter. Amen.

Have a few more minutes? Resist Shame and Stand for Forgiveness (from our 2018 Lenten Devotional)

How often do we add to our calendars out of guilt or shame? This week, offer forgiveness for the times the schedule has become overloaded and the times family members have snapped at one another over the stress of the calendar. Together, identify family & individual activities that are renewing. Start by making a list of things that you do to relax. Then, sort these activities into those that offer escape (mindless internet scrolling, for example) and those that are restorative – feeding our hearts and souls. Block out family time for these restorative activities. Sabbath doesn’t need to be a certain day of the week or a certain length of time. Sabbath helps us to resist the pressure to fill every moment of our time. Visit this link for mindfulness activities to try as a family.

I’ve been looking at resources for teaching children about forgiveness. This list was really helpful  – I’ve already used the balloon visualization for myself.

Please get in touch if I can be of assistance providing resources for Lent or faith at home.



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