VALENTINES DAY SESSION
The earliest surviving Valentine card was sent by Charles, duke of Orleans, to his wife in 1415 when he was a prisoner in the Tower of London.
The first recorded association of Valentine's Day with romantic love is in Parlement of Foules (1382) by Geoffrey Chaucer: "For this was on seynt Volantynys day. Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese [chose] his make [mate]." speaking about the wedding of King Richard II of England.
MORE VALENTINES DAY FACTS
It is estimated that women send 85% of Valentines Day cards.
The US spends $13 billion on Valentine's Day gifts. They buy 200 million roses, 40 million heart-shaped boxes of candy, $3 billion in jewelry, and exchange over 180 million romantic cards (from
Do a google search for facts, as pages and links are ever changing!!
GOD'S LOVE - GREAT IDEA
This idea was delivered to the Willow Creek conference delegates in 2006 in Chicago (different wording and packaging). There are 2 PDF pages. Page 2 of the PDF needs a bit of preparation from you. Where there are red dashed boxes, you need to cut a hole in the paper, without cutting any other part of the page. Then you need to affix page 2 on top of page 1. You'll notice that page 1 of the PDF has a message "from God" with some blank spaces. Those spaces are where each young person in your group will write their name. Once they have written their name, they will peel away the top page, to reveal "God's" personalised message for them. For this to work, you'll need to be careful with the cutting and use thick paper that can't be seen through, until the top layer of paper is peeled away. This is actually very tricky, so take your time or get one of those crafty types from the church to help you!!
Great idea from AH. Instead of printing onto 2 pieces of paper, print the 'underneath' sheet (page 2) onto paper and print the front page onto an envelope. Then cut the gaps through the envelope. When someone prints their name, it goes through to the underneath sheet, then they can take this out of the envelope! :)
16 WAYS TO FIND A WIFE - FROM MANY SITES ON THE INTERNET
1. Find an attractive prisoner of war, bring her home, shave her head, trim her nails, and give her new clothes. Then she's yours. Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 21:11-13)
2. Find a prostitute and marry her. Hosea (Hosea 1:1-3)
3. Find a man with seven daughters, and impress him by watering his flock. Moses (Exodus 2:16-21)
4. Purchase a piece of property, and get a woman as part of the deal. Boaz (Ruth 4:5-10)
5. Go to a party and hide. When the women come out to dance, grab one and carry her off to be your wife. Benjaminites (Judges 21:19-25)
6. Have God create a wife for you while you sleep. Note: this will cost you a rib. Adam (Genesis 2:19-24)
7. Find that your father's sorted your bride by getting his servant to travel for miles back to your own country, go to a well and have a woman draw some water for both the servant and all your camels. Whichever woman does this is the one. Isaac (Genesis 24)
8. Agree to work seven years in exchange for a woman's hand in marriage. Get tricked into marrying the wrong woman. Then work another seven years for the woman you wanted to marry in the first place. That's right. Fourteen years of toil for a woman. Jacob (Genesis 29:15-30)
9. Cut off 200 foreskins off of your future father-in-law's enemies and get his daughter for a wife. David (1 Samuel 18:27)
10. Even if no one is out there, just wander around a bit and you'll definitely find someone. (It's all relative of course.)
Cain (Genesis 4:16-17)
11. Become the emperor of a huge nation and hold a beauty contest. Xerxes or Ahasuerus (Esther 2:3-4)
12. When you see someone you like, go home and tell your parents, "I have seen a ...woman; now get her for me." If your parents question your decision, simply say, "Get her for me. She's the one for me." Samson (Judges 14:1-3)
13. Kill any husband and take his wife. (Prepare to lose four sons though). David (2 Samuel 11)
14. Wait for your brother to die. Take his widow. (It's not just a good idea, it's the law). Onan and Boaz (Deuteronomy or Leviticus, example in Ruth)
15. Don't be so picky. Make up for quality with quantity. Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-3)
16. A wife?...Not!! Paul (1 Corinthians 7:32-35)
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
1. Have a session around dating, love, sex and the Christian response. For more of this Click here...
2. Have a "Red Party". Take this to different levels according to your group, needs and abilities. Have only red foods (strawberries, red jelly, red trifle, red icing on cake, tomatoes, red peppers and so on. Have people wear something red (doesn't have to be the whole outfit, red devils aren't welcome, LOL)
3. Have an Indian Meal or another fairly spicey meal - with its natural reddish/yellowish colouring. Just book out a local restaurant (give em warning) and go have a good night out. Or get some people in the church to cook.
4. Red is the colour associated with roses, love and Valentines Day. But it's also a reminder of the blood of Jesus. This may be a good opportunity to tie in with any of the 3 above activities or have a separate session on the Sunday or at your home group (whatever you do with your crew).
5. What about the opportunity to serve lonely people in the church? Check with the pastor or leadership team and maybe go out and get some roses, chocs or whatever is appropriate. Then take them round to elderly people in the church who are single or alone. Another idea is to organise something for these people or have a Valentines Day Party for the whole church so you try to include people. It's a great way to get outside of yourself and serve.
6. Do something similar to the Halloween Angels idea but be Valentines Day Angels and go round giving free candy and cards etc. to people on the streets! Get this covered in prayer by the church as it's going on - and get the leader ratios right! Click here for more..
7. Open up your house for an event or a drop-in.
8. Go around to local addresses and drop off cards to people, saying that this Valentines Day, there is someone who loves them for who they are and will always love them, be there for them - Jesus. Get one of the young people to design something funky and run with this idea or something similar.
9. Game - who can write the most cheesy or lovey-dovey poem or Valentines Day Card. Or write the most amusing, or least romantic card..?
10. Do the game where you have the group read Song Of Songs to each other (probably most appropriate for an older group that you have a good relationship with, and where they're used to your zany-ness.. Don't do it if you're not like this as it may backfire.)
THOSE WHO ARE HURTING
There will be those in the group who may be hurting - maybe they don't ever get a card - maybe they've split up with someone recently - maybe the family situation is difficult or someone has died. This may be a tough time so how can you help?
1. Ask God to put people on your heart and be open to the Holy Spirit to direct you. Sounds a bit weak, but this has to be the basis of our action - God inspiring us - not us going off on one as we'll likely mess up. This may mean a quick text, an email, a funky picture or card, a visit, or arranging to meet up with someone.
2. You could text everyone in the group or share around the youth workers, making sure you sign it from the youth work team, not yourself. Alternatively get female leaders to text females and male leaders to text males. To make sure no confusion is caused!! Make sure the message says how much you love them and how much God loves them - but be careful not to be misconstrued or say anything that just sounds plain wack or cheesy!
3. Give everyone a gift - a card, candy or a choc and go deliver it while they're at school or college (or post it).
4. Meet with anyone who wants to pray and have a time of prayer for the group and anyone who may be lonely.
A good place to start is - 1 John 4.7-21 - love comes from God. In fact we learn that God is love. This love should be in us and inspire us..
Also go check out the classic 1 Corinthians 13 - where we learn that the greatest thing is love..
A ROMANTIC STORY
Maybe it's worth taking a look at the story of Isaac and Rebekah (Genesis 24), or of Mary and Joseph. Another great story is that of Esther. If you are able to get hold of "One Night With the King" (2006) on DVD, you could show a clip from this. For more on Esther, click here...
Check out www.thesource4ym.com - a great site from a cool guy over the pond!