Recently the fifth graders in our congregation celebrated their 5th grade milestone. In our congregation this is public recognition of Holy Communion, though they may partake in the meal before that time.
Because this marked the rounding out of their Children's Ministry milestones, I wanted to design a special conversation piece for families that would unite them around their church dinner table in meaningful discussion while creating a permanent memento the students could forever enjoy.
And I came up with these milestone memento balls.
I cannot tell you how much fun families had with them. Inside of these fillable ornament balls, simple to open and snap close + spacious enough to fill with items, I selected one symbol for each faith milestone they've celebrated along the way. Then, at the dinner, I named each milestone and what it means for us in our Christian walk along with a discussion question. When they finished sharing their answers as a family, the student added that symbol to their ornament.
Families opened up to each other with questions like What is one thing you are lifting up to God right now in prayer? (for the Lord's Prayer and adding a candle), laughed together with What is one rule in your life - commandments, home, church, school, that is hardest for you to follow but you know is for your good? (10 Commandments and adding a stone), and celebrated God's incredible Word with What is your favorite Bible verse? (Bibles and adding a cross + paper with their verse written on it).
After the Bible milestone discussion I asked the students in the group if any of them wanted to share their favorite verse or story and the room came alive. I was running around the space with the microphone from student to student. One's sister even spontaneously sang an entire song around her brother's verse! It was amazing. I totally should've opted for practical shoes over trendy, but there is no better problem for a Director of Faith Formation to have :)
The evening was, without question, one of my favorite moments in my ministry since joining staff so I had to share because this engaging activity is easily adaptable for milestone celebrations of all seasons and spaces in life.
Children are so incredible. To celebrate this night with my own 5th grader and witness the depth of these students' faith was truly a gift. They will add so much to youth group next year!