View this email in your browser
June 2019- Pentecost- Practicing Self-Control


Connecting families to God and each other

Grace and peace to you and your families.  

It’s June and many of your families are either beginning or looking forward to summer and possibly a break from school. Summer months can provide us all an opportunity to focus on spending time with God and with each other. Road trips and vacations give us time to play and practice Sabbath (days of rest). In these moments I invite you to pay attention for how you and your family experience God together.

This month we will be practicing self-control. This is an opportunity for your family to practice identifying your emotions, and to discern best ways to respond when you feel angry or out of control.  

I wonder: How will you and your family practice self-control this month?
As we grow together I invite you to share your thoughts, prayers, wonderings, and experiences with #growingtogetherumc, or send an e-mail to: We would love to hear how you and your family are experiencing God together. May you be filled with God’s renewing presence during this holy season.

Grace and Peace, Tanya

June 9th is Pentecost Sunday.

This is the day when we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The color for Pentecost is red.

Fire is often used as a symbol for the Holy Spirit.

For more information on Pentecost check out:

United Methodism and Pentecost
Pentecost with Children and Families
Look: Fire
Fire is often used as the symbol for pentecost. Fire can be dangerous when it burns to hot or out of control. It can also be beautiful when lit with intentionality and purpose. We can get warmth from fire, and experience joy by gathering around a fire together for s'mores and singing. Whenever you see fire take time to pray:

"God, thank you for the Holy Spirit.
I am so glad you are with me wherever I go. 
When I am having a hard day, help me practice self-control, sharing my feelings in a way that does not hurt others. Amen.”  

Scripture: Read Philippians 4:4-9 together. You might choose to read one verse a day or break this into several different sections, reading together throughout the month. Take turns reading, giving everyone who desires an opportunity to read.

Memory Verse Activity: Phillippians 4:4-5a
"Be glad in the Lord always! Again I say, be glad! Let your gentleness show in your treatment of all people."


Younger Children:  Older children:
  • Inside Out
  • I wonder what this Scripture/story tells us about God?
  • I wonder what this Scripture/story tells us about us?
  • I wonder what this Scripture/story tells us about anger?
  • I wonder when you have had a bad/hard day?
  • I wonder what God calls us to do when we are mad?
Work: Practicing Self-Control
This month practice self-control through the practice of praying in color. 

You can use Sybil McBeth's resource for adults and/or kids for this work. 

Take time to sit and connect with one another. This might be daily, weekly, or a couple of times this month. Be intentional in setting time to be together.

Invite your family to write down any emotions they are feeling. Use different colors to represent each emotion.

Wonder Together
  • I wonder what each of these emotions feel like?
  • I wonder why you chose this color?
  • I wonder when you are feeling this emotion how do you share or talk about it with others?
  • I wonder what you can do if/when you feel out of control?

"God, thank you for the Holy Spirit.
I am so glad you are with me wherever I go. 
When I am having a hard day, help me practice self-control, sharing my feelings in a way that does not hurt others. Amen.”  

How to bless your family: Blessings help us connect with and affirm one another. It is an opportunity for God's people to remind each other that God is with us and that God loves us. Blessings look different from person to person and family to family. Find a time each day to bless the members of your family. This might be at meal times, bedtime, or at the start of the day. One way to offer a blessing is to make the shape of a cross on your family member’s forehead or hand while saying words of your choice.
Make the shape of a cross on your family member’s forehead or hand while saying these words:

(Make a vertical line.) You are a beloved child of God
(Make a horizontal line.) I love you.
(Look your family member in his/her eyes.) You are a blessing.
(Hug your family member.) Let God’s light shine through you.

Loving Neighbor 

Summer can be hard for many individuals as it can bring breaks in routine and many see community members leaving for days, weeks, and/or months at a time. This month take time as a family to connect to members of your community.

Request a list of shut-in members from your church office. Every week this month, have each member of your family create or write a letter/greeting card/picture to one person on that list letting that person know that you are thinking about him or her and praying for him or her. Include a return address so the people you reach out to may write you back. 


Featured Resource: Praying in Color, by Sybil McBeth
Other Resources:
Pockets (A devotional magazine for children)
  • Journal: When you are angry, take time to talk to God. You might choose to write God a letter, or draw God a picture telling God why you are angry and asking for help as you practice self-control.
  • Share: Tell your family and friends how you practice self-control. Share your story on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using #growingtogetherumc

Do you have a family faith practice or story you want to share? E-mail your stories to: and maybe your story will appear here in an upcoming issue of Growing Together: Families.

We wonder what you wonder about!
Submit your questions to: and someone from our conference family will share their reflections in an upcoming issue of Growing Together Family.
Copyright © 2019 Rio Texas Annual Conference United Methodist Church, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.