Lent is a
perfect time to teach stewardship. As we examine our lives and try to
find something special to do for God it is good to remember that
whenever we give time, talent or treasure to God we are living as
better stewards. Here are a few classroom activities that can increase
a student's awareness of the stewardship message.

Learn About the Missions

Many
schools plan Mission carnivals or other collections for the Missions
during Lent. Collecting money for the Missions, though, should be
paired with a real understanding of the poverty and needs of the
Missions. When students understand how poor others are
throughout the world it is easier for them to see that they really are
blessed even if they don't have everything they see advertised on
television
. For information on the Missions, contact the Archdiocesan Mission Office at 314-792-7655.
The Office represents several mission programs including Association of
the Holy Childhood, Catholic Relief Services and Pan Y Amor. The
Office has videos that you can borrow and other information to share
with your students to help them realize the need that exists.


Let Students Make a Pledge

One of the hallmarks of a stewardship education program in a parish is a pledge.
Parishioners are asked to make a written commitment to put God first in
their weekly budgets and on their calendars by filling out an intention
or pledge card. A pledge helps us follow through with our good
intentions. Students, too, can learn the value and importance of a
pledge by making Lenten pledges. Sr. Janice Fennewald, SSND, at Holy
Rosary School in Warrenton held a prayer service this Fall where
students were encouraged to write their time, talent or treasure pledge
on a piece of paper which was collected as part of the service. Later
in the year, Sr. Janice planned to return those pledges to the students
so they could evaluate how they were doing. Being reminded of the
pledge at a later date helps student realize what a pledge really means.


Play A "What If..." Game

Before
asking students to make a Lenten pledge you might want to play a "What
if..." game with them. Ask them to imagine "What if Jesus came to your
house?" The answers to questions such as the following might help
children determine what their Lenten or stewardship pledge might be.

  • If
    Jesus came to your house would you sit and play video games all night
    and ignore Him? Or would you spend time talking with Him?
  • If
    Jesus came to your house would you sit quietly and say nothing? Or
    would you proudly show Him your talents - maybe playing piano for Him,
    bringing Him a picture you colored or showing Him what you were
    learning in school?
  • If Jesus came to your house
    would your family serve Him old leftovers on paper plates? Or would
    you help your family prepare a wonderful meal, set out the good dishes
    and clean the house? Remind students that Jesus really is in our house
    with us everyday!