Focal verse

“He has told you, O mortal, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8).


At our elementary school open house, students and parents were greeted with signs and decorations throughout the building. Leopard-spotted and zebra-striped bulletin boards were covered with words of encouragement: “Have a wild year” and “It’s time to leap into learning.” The halls were transformed into a jungle with cutout monkeys swinging from vines and jeeps ready for a safari.

Walking the halls, you could feel the excitement and joy. I wanted to be in those classrooms and be part of that joy. I couldn’t help but wonder how to infuse such fun and creativity into faith at home.

Don’t we want our children to be excited about hearing God’s word and experiencing the gifts of community? I want my children to feel passion and wonder as they’re learning stories of faith. I want the stories of God’s people to dwell deep in their bones.

We can experience God’s word through Bible reading but also with a little creativity. Maybe it’s just drawing with crayons or snapping photos of God’s creation to hang on the walls of your home. Maybe it’s singing hymns or Vacation Bible school songs together or collecting pieces of nature to construct your own prayer space.

This month, as your family settles into new routines with learning and activities, take some time to see where a little passion and wonder could remind you of God’s love and presence.


  • Read your child Glenys Nellist’s Little Mole Goes to School (Beaming Books, 2022), which highlights the different gifts children bring to their studies and how to celebrate our unique selves.
  • Trace a cross or heart on your child’s hands before school and remind them that God’s love is with them wherever they go.

Service opportunity 

Reach out to see whether your school needs supplies or there are any items remaining on the teachers’ wish lists. Write notes of encouragement for school staff.

Prayer practice 

Walk around the school property as a family and pray for the year ahead. Lift up all who will walk the halls and ask God to meet them. Pray together: Dear God, we give thanks for another school year. For all those who come here, may they know your peace. Give them strength and compassion and an eagerness to love one another. Amen. 

Kimberly Knowle-Zeller
Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, spouse of an ELCA pastor and co-author of The Beauty of Motherhood: Grace-Filled Devotions for the Early Years. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, Mo. Her website is

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