9 January 2019 | St Albans, UK [TED Communications]
2019 marks the centenary of Seventh-day Adventist Family Ministries. How to celebrate? Inspiration came to TED family ministries director, Karen Holford, when she read a report of a small church in Congresbury, England who decided to mark their 800th anniversary with 800 acts of kindness.
“Kindness is at the heart of every good relationship,” says Karen. “When someone is kind to us, we feel they care about us. When we know they care, we begin to trust them, and to talk at a deeper level with them. That’s how relationships grow. Sadly, many of the cracks that end up breaking relationships happen when people forget to be kind.”
Her project for 2019, live:kind, is about making a commitment, first and foremost, to live:kind at home, to do something kind for each person in your home every single day.
It can’t be that hard! Clear the table after a meal. Make someone a drink, offer to help, slip a treat in a lunchbox. Show appreciation, listen to family members talk about their day, or give them a hug.
As well as being kind at home, it’s important to do at least one kind thing each week for someone in your workplace, college, neighbourhood, class or community; and one kind thing each week for someone in your church.
It could be for someone you don’t know so well: your pastor, your Sabbath School teacher, or the person you sit next to every week. If you do one kind thing for someone in your community each week, and one kind thing for someone in your church, then you’ll do at least 100 live:kind acts as you celebrate 100 years. More importantly, you will make a difference that will cheer people’s lives.
Family ministry leaders across the TED have submitted dozens of kindness suggestions to inspire you to join in this celebration of kindness. No one is left out. There is a list of ideas of things that you can do without leaving home, ideas for students at University, ideas for children in their home, or at school, and many more topics. Many ideas cost nothing more than a few minutes of thoughtfulness. You can find the ideas sheets at https://ted.adventist.org/family-ministries/resources in the live:kind section.
There is even a colouring chart for children with 100 little light bulbs, so they can colour a bulb each time they do something kind that lights up the world with God’s love.
Why not set a kindness goal with your family, and celebrate whenever you reach a milestone? If you invite another friend or family to join your celebration, then that’s an act of kindness towards your next goal!
Throughout the year we hope to gather and post your real-life stories of kindness and your kindness ideas on our Facebook page. Please share your experiences with us by emailing them to [email protected].
“I’m inspired by the life of Jesus,” says Karen. “He showed us what it means to be kind, to care, to forgive, to show respect, and to meet people’s basic needs. Kindness is good for our spiritual development, it reduces conflicts, it helps to increase our sense of wellbeing and happiness, and it strengthens our relationships.” We can celebrate 100 years of family ministries by nurturing all of our relationships – with family, friends, colleagues, church members and even total strangers. Let’s make 2019 a year to live:kind.
tedNEWS Staff: Victor Hulbert, editor; Sajitha Forde-Ralph, associate editor
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