Month: September 2014

Let the Christian Gift Store Help You Celebrate Pastor Appreciation Month

With Appreciation
With Appreciation

October means many fun, fall activities. Hay mazes, apple picking, pumpkin carving, harvest parties….and Pastor Appreciation Month! How will you make use of the opportunity to express appreciation for the spiritual leaders God has placed in your life? October is Pastor Appreciation Month, but without a plan, the chance to encourage your pastor may pass you by.

It’s true that you could honor your pastor any day of the year. However, good intentions too often fall to the bottom of your weekly To Do list. Instead of letting another October slip by without acknowledging the blessing of your spiritual shepherd, make the effort this year to celebrate the occasion. Let the Christian gift store help you.

Here are a few possible ways to celebrate:

Your pastor or priest spends time reading the Scriptures along with other spiritual references so why not give him a special bookmark? You could plan to have children in the nursery or toddler program color the bookmarks – then date and laminate them. On the other hand, you could buy a set of bookmarks from the Christian gift store. Either way, he will have plenty of opportunity to remember how he was honored.

2. Books
Bookmarks are great companions to book. Why not have a Sunday school class collect money to buy the pastor a desired commentary or devotional book. If more people or classes want to be involved, purchase an entire set of commentaries. A new bible would also make a great gift.

3. Picture
This idea is easy and unique. Have someone with photography skills take an attractive photo of the church building. It can be color or black and white. Mat and frame the photo. Have those giving the gift date and sign the back before presenting.

4. Time for an Upgrade
One way to let your pastor or priest know how much you appreciate their ministry is to upgrade their work space. Maybe they would like a new desk chair. Perhaps a new coat of paint on the walls. A new machine that makes coffee or hot tea by the cup might be nice. Maybe a new, larger computer screen. Pastor Appreciation Month could mean time for an office upgrade.

5. Everyone Involved
Your shepherd will feel surprised and blessed if you spend a week showering him with thanks. For one week assign various groups within the church each day to be responsible for treating the leader. For example, the nursery committee might bring him a homemade pie on Monday, the deacons might deliver a balloon bouquet on Tuesday. On Wednesday the Sunday school teachers might present him with a gift card to the Christian gift store. You get the idea. And so will he!!

Plan now for ways to let the leader in your congregation know how grateful you are. Check out other great gift ideas at The Printery House. We offer a large selection of cards and gifts to encourage your pastor.

This Month Send an Inspirational Greeting Card Along With an Invitation to Coffee

Greeting Card Organizer
Greeting Card Organizer

Much of the world wakes up with a cup of coffee. There are a few rare individuals who seem to be able to greet the day without the aid of a warm drink, but for most of us a deep, rich cup of delicious brew is required. Coffee is so dear to us that Monday, September 29 is dedicated as International Coffee Day. In honor of the event, here’s a little bit of coffee history and a suggestion for sending at least one person an inspirational greeting card to invite them to enjoy the day with you.

How Coffee Came to Be
No one knows for sure how coffee first came to be, but legend has it that the first person to discover the joy of coffee drinking lived in Ethiopia. A goat-herder in that country is said to have noted the excessive energy and wakefulness of his goats that had been nibbling the beans of a coffee plant. The farmer took some beans to a local monastery where it is reported that the first-ever cup of coffee was brewed by the monks who lived there. The servants of Christ were delighted with the drink’s ability to help them stay awake for evening prayers.

The Birth of Coffee Culture
If Ethiopia was the place where coffee was discovered, Arabia is where the bean was first cultivated. Arab communities were the first to create a coffee culture. It was among the people of the Near and Middle East that coffee houses got their start. These coffee houses became the hub of social activity where local citizens gathered to enjoy a drink, share conversation, play games and even listen to music. Coffee was so popular that it was called the wine of Araby.

As missionaries and traders interacted with the Arab world, the love of coffee spread. It was carried to Asia and Italy and from there it travelled across the continent and into western culture. By the middle of the 1800s there were coffee houses all across Europe and 300 plus in London alone. The New World held onto its preference for tea until a fateful day in Boston Harbor when Americans protested against high taxes on the British beverage. Coffee eventually replaced tea as the beverage of choice.

Send an Inspirational Greeting Card and Invite Someone to Celebrate Coffee Day There’s more which could be said about one of the world’s best-loved beverages – like the many places that it is grown or how it came to be called a cup of Joe. But better than talking about coffee, is making time to drink it. At The Printery House we invite you to use the opportunity to invite someone in your life out for a cup of coffee any way you like it. Send an inspirational greeting card and let them know how they make your life better and ask them to join you for a cup of coffee to celebrate International Coffee Day. If they live far away, tuck a coffee house gift card inside their card. Make sure your words of affirmation are in there too.

Boost Your Prayer Life: Send a Prayer Card, Pray More for Your Community

Abbey Prayer Collection
Abbey Prayer Collection

Perhaps the most difficult spiritual discipline is the discipline of prayer. Setting aside time to pray with intention is an important part of our time with God but it can be a hard habit to develop. If you are having trouble maintaining a faithful time of meeting God in prayer, it could be that your prayer life would benefit from broadening your prayer time. One way to do this is to begin praying for your community.

The Community of Faith
You might want to start by praying for your community of faith – the people in your church. Every week someone’s need is mentioned from the lectern, the pulpit, in Sunday School or in the church bulletin. Take those needs home and commit to praying for them through the week. A great way to make yourself accountable to do this is to send the person a prayer card. A prayer card may contain a printed prayer that you let the person know you promise to pray for them daily, or it may hold a handwritten prayer from your heart.

The Community of Neighbors
Jesus told a parable about a wounded man who was ignored by several professing believers but was finally helped by a Samaritan. The story was Jesus’ answer to the question “Who is my neighbor?” Of course, the parable doesn’t really answer who is a neighbor as much as it describes, “What does a neighbor do?” Loving neighbors care for the strangers around them. Prayer for the strangers around you is one way to truly love your neighbors.

How You Pray for Neighbors
You can pray for your community at large in a variety of ways. You could pray daily with a partner over the phone. You could create a weekly prayer group that meets to pray for your city or town. You can pray over your community as a family. You could conduct a prayer walk around the streets of town. You can pray alone during your quiet time.

What Are Some Things You Can Pray for Them
There are many ways you can pray for your community. You can pray for community leaders. You can pray for families, for businesses, for local churches. You can pray for the people that live on your street. Here are a few general things to pray for others:

  1. God’s Love Would Be Made Evident to Them
  2. Protection from Harm
  3. Restore Broken Relationships and Bodies (health)
  4. Justice and Mercy to Be Realities
  5. Giftedness of Christians Would Be Used to Bless Others
  6. Salvation to Come to the Lost

If you pray for community leaders, you could send them a prayer card. Thank them for their work and let them see exactly how you prayed for them. You could do the same for the community churches that you bathe in prayer. What could be more encouraging than receiving a card from someone you’ve never even met and reading how they remembered you in prayer?

The Printery House
At The Printery House we want to encourage you in developing a discipline of prayer. We offer prayer cards and inspirational cards that could be used to help you pray more as well as bless others with this most neighborly act of love.

Celebrating a Young Girl’s First Communion

My First Communion Keepsake Album
My First Communion Keepsake Album

There are special moments in the life of a young girl which become milestones in her life. A young girl’s First Communion is definitely one of those events. The day when a young lady is accepted into the full life of the church as a participating member is memorable. As the parent or close friend of a girl receiving her first communion, there are ways you can help mark this day as the extra special occasion that it is.

The age of a girls’ First Communion will vary but usually takes place around ages seven-nine. At that age, the Church judges that a child is able to understand the gospel and appreciate the meaning of the Communion table. Typically, there will have been a season of preparation in the form of classes at Church. Education through the church is expected to be supported and reinforced by instruction at home. Parents, friends and family can set the tone of anticipation and excitement surrounding a girl’s First Communion.

Young girls should understand the significance of a First Communion gown. They are being presented to the Lord as a pure and holy bride as, in fact, the Church is. Her white dress, gloves, veil and purse are not mere adornments meant to draw attention to her. They are symbols of her wholehearted desire to meet with her Lord and be His. Parents can help keep the focus in the right place.

It is not only traditional, but wholly appropriate to celebrate this important event. A family party complete with gifts helps to set apart the day as a milestone event. You will want to take plenty of pictures so that she can always look back to the day. Gifts that make excellent presents for a girl’s First Communion party include:

1. A white Catholic Bible. Giving her her very own Bible reinforces that this day marks a new chapter in her spiritual life of belonging to Christ.

2. A First Communion wall cross. There are several styles from which to choose, but a decorative cross to hang in her room will be a steady reminder to her that she is a spiritual, not only a physical, being.

3. Jewelry is a popular First Communion gift. Necklaces and bracelets adorned with the Communion chalice, host and crucifix are a perennial favorite with young ladies.

4. A keepsake box in which to place her jewelry makes a nice companion present.

5. A rosary is another perfect gift for a girl’s First Communion. This will provide a way for parents to help train their daughter in times of personal and private devotion.

6. A memory album is a great gift idea for First Communion. Just as everyone enjoys reminiscing while looking at the photos in wedding albums, the entire family will treasure the pictures and notations surrounding the day of a young girl’s first-ever participation in Holy Communion.

If a young lady in your life is preparing for her first communion, check out The Printery House. We are a Catholic gift store with a full line of First Communion gifts and cards. Making your purchase at The Printery House also helps to support our work at Conception Abbey. Shop with us to make it easy on yourself and bless the servants of the Lord all at the same time!