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October is Pastor Appreciation Month...but really, pastors can be appreciated any time. If you've noticed that your pastors need encouragement, this is a great and easy idea to get the entire church involved...and no one says it HAS to happen in October.

October Pastor Appreciation

*Just to give you context...I'm a member of a small church (about 250-300 members). Sometimes these things are a bit easier to make happen if you attend a small to mid-size church.

Pastor Appreciation Ideas

For the past 7 years I've been volunteering at our church by leading a Ladies Bible Study. Each October, I've asked the Bible Study Ladies to contribute cards, letters, treats and gift cards to give to our pastors and staff. It was wonderful! The ladies spoiled our church's staff and really encouraged them.  I never thought we should change things up until it occurred to me that we were being exclusive. Those who weren't a part of our Ladies Group weren't given the opportunity to bless our, we decided to open up the invitation to the whole church.
*I often have friends from other church's that ask me for step-by-step here's what I did to make this happen.

First, I got permission from our church chair. (Always get permission so you don't mess up anything the church might already have planned!) The Church Chair wanted only the pastors to be honored for October. We will do something similar for the rest of the church staff in March or April.

Easy Ideas for Pastor Appreciation Month

You know how it's always more fun to give than to receive, right? Well, people love to give, especially in the church, but they need to know exactly how and what to give. So I made it easy for them.

I emailed the pastors to find our their favorite treats.
This is crucial! You don't want people to give them candy or coffee cards if they don't eat sugar or drink coffee--and yes, we have some very health-conscious pastors!

I asked each pastor to tell me their favorite:
-gift cards

Then, I took a trip to the Dollar Store to get supplies for the display. I purchased:
3 buckets (for 3 pastors)
1 foam board
1 pack of white mini pails
1 pack of colored popsicle sticks.

I already had:
tissue paper
colored cardstock
light wire

In a Word document, I printed out the pastor's names and their
information to create the poster. I backed everything on colored cardstock and glued it onto the board.

Pastor Appreciation Ideas
The mini pails had metal hangers that I stuck right into the foam board and taped securely on the back.

Pastor Appreciation Ideas @michellepaigeblogs.comPastor Appreciation Ideas

I made signs for the plastic buckets and taped them onto popsicle sticks to stand up out of the buckets.

Ideas to celebrate Pastor Appreciation Month

After getting approval from our church's chair, I wrote this for the bulletin. It was printed in the bulletin each week for the month of October.
October is Pastor Appreciation Month ~ 
Join us as we show our Pastors appreciation during the month of October by 'filling their buckets'. To participate, please write a note and/or purchase a small gift for our pastors. Labeled buckets are located by the Welcome Counter. Drop your notes and items in the buckets.
Here's a list of our pastor's favorites:
Pastor David: Favorite snacks: kettle corn, nut butter-filled Clif bars. Favorite drinks: English breakfast tea. Favorite gift cards: REI, Amazon.
Pastor Amy: Favorite snacks: Apple Pie Larabars, pistachios, apple chips, seaweed snacks, very, very dark chocolate. Favorite drinks: sparkling water, kombucha, unsweetened ice tea. Favorite gift cards: Amazon, Target.
Pastor Scott: Favorite snacks: RX Bar (coconut and chocolate flavor), figs (or other dried fruit without added sugar). Favorite drinks: coffee & kombucha. Favorite gift cards: iTunes, Goodwill. 

Pastor Appreciation Ideas

The buckets and poster were put on display every Sunday morning right where everyone would see them. Each week, little gifts and notes started filling up the buckets.
After the Sunday services, I bagged up the pastor's gifts and stuck them on their desks. This gave the pastors little treats and notes to read all month long. In the past, I usually just gave one big gift basket--but little things all month long is even better!

Pastor Appreciation Ideas

Of course the pastors were overwhelmed! They were delighted and blessed and encouraged. I loved that it wasn't just one group in the church honoring them, but the entire church body.  (Of course not everyone participated, but the invitation to participate was open to all...and there's always next year.)

Our appreciation for our pastors doesn't stop in October.  The Ladies Bible Study loves on them during the year on their birthdays and Valentine's Day. Take a look at these pastor appreciation ideas we've done in the past.

De'LIGHT'ful Gifts
Pastor Appreciation Ideas 

REDiculously Awesome Pastor
Love on your pastors for Pastor Appreciation Month

Pastor Appreciation Ideas

Retirement Party for a Pastor
Pastor Appreciation Ideas

Pastor Appreciation Table Decor
Pastor Appreciation Ideas

Tie-Themed Pastor Good-Bye Party
Pastor Appreciation Ideas

Pastor Appreciation for Valentine's Day
Paper heart garland

**Does your church do anything for your pastors?
Leave a comment...I'd love to hear.

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It's time for a university check-in again. AH (Awesome Husband) is back on campus with his trustee meetings, and I'm tracking down the students we know from our church. This year, we have all girl students attending our Alma mater.
I was so tempted to go with an all-pink package theme--haven't done that before, but instead decided to 'hunker-down' with a theme that's full of 'unbearable' puns.  Yep, you guessed it---a bear theme.

College Care package ideas

Our school does not have bears as a mascot, but this would work perfectly with a school that does. Did you know there are a ton of bear-labeled food products out there? I found so many items in my local grocery store, but you could shop online and come up with even more.

College Care package ideas

Check it out!

I made these cute little bear tags and attached them to the treats.
There's some blank ones if you'd rather write your own bear puns or have no puns at all (gasp!). I printed my tags on brown cardstock.
Click here to print your own tags.

College Care package ideas

Here's some of the bear items I included:
Golden Crisp cereal, Teddy Grahams, 

College Care package ideas @michellepaigeblogs.comBear themed College Care Package

Kodiak cakes, bear honey
Bear themed College Care Package Bear themed College Care Package

Sleepytime Herbal Tea, Gummy Bears--of course...
Bear themed College Care Package @michellepaigeblogs.comBear themed College Care Package

and don't forget a teddy bear hug!

Bear themed College Care Package

A few extra pun tags decorated the bag.

Bear themed College Care Package
Bear themed College Care Package

The college girls were super excited with their bags!
Fun ideas for college care packages @michellepaigeblogs.comFun ideas for college care packages

Fun ideas for college care packages

Here's some more college care package ideas for you:

Stick With It!           
Stick with it!  College finals care package ideas   

Orange Survival Study Sack                       
Orange foods and treats for gift package. 

Brighten Up Your Semester!
Yellow themed gift ideas

SMART Gift Bag                                     
Creative college care package ideas   

Caramel Apple Dippin' Kit
Package up apples, caramel and toppings to give as gifts.

SNAP To It!                                                            

Punny College Care Package

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