Set up a freedom photo booth in a section of the meeting room. Attach a large piece of cloth to the wall for the backdrop. The cloth should be a solid color—red, white or blue. It could be a blanket, a tablecloth, or fabric. Place the area for the photo booth where it will catch the most light. If you meet at night, you may need to use floor lamps for extra light.
Print out 4th of July themed cutouts that the women can use as props. Check online or on Pinterest for examples. Attach them to small wooden dowels or popsicle sticks. You could also buy hats and other items for props from places like the Dollar Store or Party City.
Give the women the option of taking the photos individually or with other women. Also take a group photo once everyone is there. Make sure you have all their email addresses so you can send them a digital copy of their photos.
Place runners on the tables made from burlap or a basic solid white color. Cut out blue and red star shapes from fabric or card stock and place them in chosen areas on the runners. Purchase small red and blue candle holders for white candles or take a few white flowers and cut the stems down so they fit in the candle holders.
Make “Let Freedom Ring” ring pops for the women. Purchase the ring pops and attach a tag that says, “Let Freedom Ring.” The printouts and instructions can be found on Pinterest.
Make patriotic popcorn. Add red and blue M&Ms and mini marshmallows to bowls full of popcorn. You could also add some red, white, and blue sprinkles. A recipe with a special marshmallow sauce to add to the popcorn can be found on Pinterest. Also, make some patriotic fruit kabobs by alternating strawberries, blueberries and large marshmallows on long bamboo skewers. Include a bowl of fruit dip.
Invite the women to share 4th of July memories from their childhoods. Do they follow the same traditions with their families?
Purchase picture frames from the 99-cent store. Print the sheet music for “America the Beautiful,” which can be found online, making sure it will fit in the frames. Emphasize the line “God shed His grace on thee.” The women can spray paint the frames red or blue and decorate them with buttons or strips of fabric in red, white and blue. They can also decorate the song sheet by adding small buttons to the circle areas of the notes or coloring the circles red or blue.
God Sheds His Grace on Me
Read Romans 3:20–24
When we think of the 4th of July, we tend to think of outdoor cookouts and fireworks. It is a time to get together with family and friends to enjoy being outdoors together. It’s also a time to celebrate our freedom as Americans. The gatherings and the traditions are available to us because we are free citizens. Many of us regularly express gratitude to those who have fought for us to make that freedom possible.
We can also incorporate expressing gratitude to God for our spiritual freedom each 4th of July. John 8:36 says, “So if the Son sets you free you will be free indeed.” Romans 3:24 reminds us that this freedom is ours “by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
We are not free from sin because we earned that freedom by being morally upright and following all the law. If that were the case, we would constantly be falling short of how good we must be in order to maintain our freedom. “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Our God is faithful, so He sent His only Son to die so that we could have freedom from sin. We do not have to fight to be good enough to be in connection with God. God has already made a way for us to stay in His presence by “justifying us freely.” We “are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:23).
Romans 3:22 tells us: “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” We claim freedom from sin by believing in the work of Jesus Christ to free us from sin. We can be grateful each day for this eternal freedom from sin. Use the 4th of July as another special time set aside to celebrate that freedom. We can express this liberty by extending the same grace God extended to us through Jesus Christ to others we encounter.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of freedom from sin given through your Son Jesus Christ. We praise You for supplying the freedom we could not earn. As we celebrate our liberty as Americans, remind us to give to others the gift given to us by introducing them to the freedom found in Christ. Amen.
Sing “America the Beautiful.” When singing the lyrics “God shed His grace on thee,” encourage the women to replace “thee” with “me” as they sing to remind them that God covers each of us with His unconditional grace.