Mothers day services can be difficult. Many people in church will want to celebrate mothers and family life but many who are there will also find it a painful day.
At Orchard Baptist we try to celebrate mothers day whist at the same time trying to make the service useful, relevant and encouraging to those who find the day difficult. Our approach involves using mothers as a metaphor and celebrating one aspect of their role that we can all learn from and be inspired by.
This year, our theme was nurture and encouragement. You can’t be a mother without caring for others but it is also something that should be important to all of us in all of our relationships.
The morning started with breakfast at 9am. We tried to keep this simple by having a variety of pastries as well as fruit, toast and porridge (made in the slow cooker). There were also had bacon and sausages as well.
There were a variety of activities to make use of the time between breakfast and the service. The most popular one was how many words can you make using the letters from ‘mothering Sunday’ and amazingly, the winner found 285 words!
There were also some paper flowers on each table with an invitation for people to write down on the labels things they were grateful that they had been nurtured and taught.
When people had written on these labels, they were invited to place their flowers in the display to show all the ways that we were thankful for the many things that people have nurtured and taught us over the years.
The variety and range of what was written was wonderful and reading them was very emotional and encouraging and this display will be left up all week for users of the premises to look at.
The service (started at 10.30am) was cafe style and we began by singing Everlasting God and Hosanna (Praise is rising) as songs which call on God in a similar way that a child might call on a parent.
We went on to pray together before announcing the winners of the find the words competition and other worksheets.
Next we looked at some of the flowers and what had been written on the labels and we heard a story of someone polishing some ear rings that she had brought in a charity shop. The more she polished, the more concerned she became that they might not be silver underneath but when she had finished they looked really beautiful. Sometimes we can get worried about God clearing things away and getting down to the real us but we shouldn’t worry because God knows what we are like already and he accepts us completely. God longs to nurture and encourage us and he wants to cleanse, shape and encourage us!
Next we played a time-lapse video of flowers growing (there are lots to choose from on YouTube) and we used this for a led meditation which allowed :
- Time to remember and to give thanks for the people who have nurtured us.
- Space to consider how we can nurture and encourage the people around us in our everyday lives.
- A focus on the ways that God has nurtured and encouraged us as well as an opportunity to give thanks to him.
- A reflection on the beauty and the blessing that we all have as people who are made in God’s image.
The roses in the picture were handmade and the flat flower heads came in a pack from the Range.
Each of the bunches had a label which on one side reminded us that we should encourage and build one another up.
The other side of the label had an individualized and unique message. These messages were written knowing that the flowers would be handed out randomly.
The service finished with Praise my soul the King of heaven.
There was lots of encouragement after the service from the church family and from people from the community who came along.
I hope that you find this service outline helpful, encouraging and thought provoking.
You can also read about what we did the previous year in Tissues for Mothers Day
You may also find a variety of ideas for gifts you can give in mother’s day services.