Simple connecting activities for U.S. churches

We may not have been able to travel on delegations for the past two years, but U.S. churches have found creative ways to keep the connection strong, including Sister Parish-themed masses, children’s activities, adult education hours with Sister Parish staff, and more. Whether a virtual delegation, a photo exhibit, prayer partners, or including names in a blessing, there are a wide variety of options for connecting activities.

Below are just a few of these activities. There are more ideas on our fundraising and awareness activities page. Please contact staff to help plan connecting activities in your community.

WUMC photo exhibit to celebrate 20th anniversary

Earlier this year, Wallingford UMC in Seattle hosted a photo show to commemorate he 20th anniversary of the relationship between Guarjila and WUMC. The photo show allowed people to gather and share memories and hopes for the relationship moving forward.

St Thomas Lutheran Church’s prayer vigil over Lent

During Lent, fourteen households at St. Thomas Lutheran in Bloomington, IL participated in a prayer vigil in honor of partner community Chichipate. Two households participated each week for seven weeks. Each participating household received ideas for prayers, most focusing on issues of mutual concern for the two communities, and a basket of symbolic items representing the relationship and pictures of visits to Chichipate. We post one of the powerful prayers here.

A Prayer for Healing of Creation
Stir up your power, O God, and save your good creation. Forests fall, rivers flood, crops fail, and the air is thick with so much burning. Free us from the powerful who destroy the air, water, and land. Free us from desires and choices that feed their power. Frustrate their violence, expose their lies, disrupt their schemes, and strengthen people everywhere who serve and protect the earth. Pour out your justice that rolls down like mighty waters, in the name of our savior and brother Jesus. Amen.

St Joan of Arc and TN2 Sister Parish masses

In August 2022, St Joan of Arc and Tierra Nueva 2 both planned Sister Parish-themed masses. St Joan of Arc included time for SJA members to share about their transformation through Sister Parish, hymns in Spanish, and prayers of the people written by Sister Parish members in both communities and read by a young woman from TN2. In TN2, the same prayers were to be read the next Sunday and a Sister Parish member shared a special message.

Duluth and Los Ranchos – Day of the Dead

Duluth and Los Ranchos organized a series of events to commemorate the Day of the Dead. The two communities watched Coco and reflected together afterward on the major themes of the movie, such as how we remember our loved ones and how we want to be remembered. Los Ranchos also shared more about how their community marks the day, which differs between countries and communities.

Danville story time and blessing for the students

As part of their virtual delegation in 2021, Danville Congregational Church in California read the story Rainbow Weaver during the children’s message while also sharing pictures of visits to San Antonio. The group also shared coloring pages for the kids to take home. This fall, the church included names and pictures from students in San Antonio in their annual back-to-school blessing for the school age children in the church.

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