Shrove Tuesday is an occasion to encourage members to consider hosting a “Fat Tuesday” dinner in their own homes and invite neighbors, friends, and family to join them.
Pancakes and Jesus
Shrove Tuesday, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, is recognized by Christians around the world by different names, and is often called Pancake Day. (Fastnacht and Mardi Gras are two of the names given to this day in German and French.) It is a day of feasting on pancakes, doughnuts, and all things fattening.
Historically, Shrove Tuesday was the last time to eat fat, butter, and eggs (ingredients used in pancakes) which many people decide to fast from during Lent. Different countries observe this as a time for fun and fellowship for all the ages and have Pancake Day activities such as pancake flipping races, pancake decorating, and other activities. Building Faith offers a Pancake Supper Survival Guide that includes a placemat, trifold, and a list of tips for making pancakes. If you search for Pancake Day activities online, you'll find several ideas from the UK, and New Zealand,
Host at Home
Usually celebrated as a pancake supper in congregations across denominations, Shrove Tuesday is also an occasion to encourage members to consider hosting a “Fat Tuesday” dinner in their own homes and invite neighbors, friends, and family to join them. It is outreach and provides an opportunity to gather together and recognize God in the moment through prayer and blessing.
A Milestone Moment
Milestones Ministry has written a Shrove Tuesday Pancake Milestone Moment for the home. There is an outline including caring conversations, a scripture reading, prayer, and a blessing that can be used during the pancake supper. The suggestion is to make a copy of the Moment and place it in a gallon sized zip lock bag along with a pancake turner, small syrup, a recipe for pancakes, a small bag of pancake toppings, or gift of your choice. Then make the bags available for households to take home a few weeks before Shrove Tuesday, March 5th. A fun follow-up would be to ask families to post pictures of their meal together on a Facebook page or in an e-news for all to share how they used the Moment in their homes. It can be downloaded and reproduced at no cost until March 1st:
There are many significant times during the church year when it is good to connect with the home and equip those of all ages to engage in faith talk regularly. Beginning with Shrove Tuesday is a good way to take a first step in connecting the faith community with the home.
Debbie Streicher is Co-Director at Milestones Ministry and has helped congregations across the country develop faith formation programs for all ages in the congregational setting for almost 30 years. Her background is in teaching language. Coupled with her passion for family ministry, she uses her knowledge and experience learned from teaching foreign languages to help parents, grandparents, and other adults understand the importance of daily immersion in the language of faith. Debbie's vision is to involve all ages in faith formation, strengthen family relationships through Spiritual growth, and empower God-given gifts to do ministry.