WHAT IS GRATITUDE SUNDAY?

Gratitude Sunday is an annual church service involving the community to express gratitude to God and to appreciate individuals.

 

It is our vision for UK wide churches to host a Gratitude Sunday service annually, starting in 2021. Our second Gratitude Sunday will be on Sunday 29th May 2022.

WHY HOST A GRATITUDE SUNDAY SERVICE?

  1. To connect with the community.
  2. To facilitate a platform for collective gratitude and to celebrate the lives of those we have lost due to the pandemic.
  3. To create a bridge and gospel opportunity.
  4. To express our gratitude with one voice to God for His provision & protection over our nation.
  5. To inform and transform the way we see and relate to each other.

“Annual Gratitude Sunday is a church service involving the community to express gratitude to God and to appreciate individuals. It is our vision for UK wide churches to host a Gratitude Sunday service annually, starting in 2021. Our second Gratitude Sunday will be on Sunday 29th May 2022.”

Girma Bishaw, Director and Founder of Gratitude Initiative

HOW CAN WE IDENTIFY PEOPLE TO INVITE?

  • Asking our congregations to participate in the invitation process
    • They know the heroes in their neighbourhood
    • They know positive stories that happened in the area
    • They know people who have lost their loved ones and willing to share their story
    • They can invite their neighbours to join the gratitude service
  • Identify Charities or Initiatives which started particularly, not exclusively during the pandemic and invite them to the service.
  • Identify individuals who are in the public sphere and live in the neighbourhood
    • A councillor, journalist, politician etc. to come and participate
  • Prepare invitation letter. (Template to be provided)

SERVICE IDEAS

  • Songs
  • Poem (on resilience, gratitude etc.) (you can start a poem competition and choose the winner to read at the service)
  • Selected stories
    • From people who benefited from the help of someone or organisation to share their story
    • From people who want to share and celebrate the life of their loved ones
  • Silence and prayer in remembrance of the people we have lost in our community
  • Recognising and gift-giving to the heroes and organisations
  • Give young people an assignment to do research on identifying our community’s strength and good and present their discoveries on the day.
  • A video clip of children recorded expressing their gratitude (can be recorded the week before)
  • Activity involving the congregation:
    • Asking the congregation to write a gratitude card to someone they are grateful for and post it after the service. (Cards to be provided)
  • Talk/sermon on gratitude
  • A gratitude prayer
  • Next step/Call to action
    • Journal
    • Cultivating a habit to start a conversation with acknowledging the good.
    • Expressing our gratitude with generosity
  • Find a charity to support
  • Reach out to someone in your neighbourhood/ someone who is different from you.
  • Refreshments

CHILDREN

  • Write or draw a gratitude card to someone
  • Game (gratitude game ideas to be provided)
  • Story from the Bible (study ideas to be provided)

ANNUAL GRATITUDE SUNDAY 2021

We launched our first Annual Gratitude Sunday on the 30th of May 2021. 17 London churches and para-churches hosted a Gratitude Sunday service using resources we had provided and fresh ideas they had prepared themselves. Here are some of their activities:

  • Two churches created gratitude trees outside for children and adults to write and put up gratitude cards for the community to see.
  • Girma spoke at one church on the day; his pre-recorded talk was played in some, and in other churches; pastors used the notes or spoke about gratitude in general.
  • Two churches filmed congregation members speaking about what they were grateful for, and one church, as part of their collective worship, filmed a class in their church school answering what they were thankful for.
  • Thanksgiving scriptures, poems and personal stories were shared.
  •  A church set a “Sowing seeds of Gratitude” challenge; each day, they were given a gratitude activity. For example, going on a gratitude stroll and thanking the Lord for their neighbourhood.
  • The gratitude cards we provided were used widely.
  • Thankyous were expressed with chocolates and cards to individual local businesses and community projects.
  • The Mayor of Islington and his Lady Consort attended a service and were highly appreciative and added their own thanks for the service.

It was a very positive first Gratitude Sunday; we were thrilled with the feedback and the way the churches were creative in how they expressed and shared gratitude with the community.

 

We would love to see more churches hosting Gratitude Sunday services next year, do let us know if you would like to get involved.

GRATITUDE SUNDAY

NEXT STEPS

If you would like to host an Annual Gratitude Sunday service and be part of this exciting initiative, please click the Register button to confirm your interest. Or for more information, please download the Annual Gratitude Sunday PDF.

 

We would be delighted to share your service details on our website and social media in the lead up to the day for those willing to take part. We would also love to share your stories, news, videos and photographs following the service to encourage more churches to get involved next year!

If you would like to get involved, donate, sign up for our newsletter or follow us on social media, we would be delighted.

``Gratitude helps us see the world differently.`` Girma Bishaw