Fathers Day

You learn something new everyday, or at least so they say, well yesterday I learnt about Fathers Day, of course I knew of Fathers Day but I didn’t know as much as I do now.
It started with being asked if I was going to mention it during the service at which I was leading and preaching yesterday and I said “no, it doesn’t really fit” so I was then asked “well why are you not including it? Why doesn’t the church celebrate Fathers Day?” I replied “because we don’t” The argument that we celebrate mother’s day is that it has a tradition behind it where as Fathers Day, to my understanding, was about greetings company’s making a bit more money, apparently I am wrong, the story is this:-
The idea came from a town called Spokane, in Washington, America. A woman named Sonora Smart Dodd was sitting in church listening to the sermon on Mother’s day 1909. Sonora’s mother had died in child birth with her 6th child and so Sonora had not really known her mother but had been raised by her Farther, Henry Jackson Smart. Sonora saw that her father had made all the sacrifices most mothers do, in her eyes he was a courageous, selfless and loving man and she wanted an opportunity to let him know how special he was to her. Her fathers birthday was in June and so she decided to hold the first fathers day on July 19th 1910. In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of a national Fathers day and in 1966 President Lyndon B Johnson signed a proclamation making the 3rd Sunday in June the official Fathers day.
I don’t know when the celebration hit these shores, and I suspect it may have been the greetings companies who brought it over, but the question perhaps should stand, should we in the church be celebrating Fathers, as we do mothers? Could this be a great opportunity to reach out to some of the men who are on the edges of our churches? Whatever the means of it getting to the UK, the roots of the celebration are good, and maybe it is something we should take on board and include in our church calendar?

2 thoughts on “Fathers Day

  • June 20, 2007 at 12:11 am

    Yes of course we should be celebrating fathers (hence parent and toddler groups not mother and toddlers etc) however I think MOTHERING Sunday is about more than mothers but about those who care for us be they mother, father, grandparent, or no relation at all. My father bans me from getting him Father’s day cards but I can see that the card companys have done a great job of making children feel they’re FAILING if they don’t “get dad a card”

  • June 25, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    I remember someone once asking me what I thought about equality for women – my response has not changed a jot since then – if they want it, they can have it… which apparently means that one day in the year some of them will have to buy stuff for a bloke in their lives (maybe more – their father, their husband, the father-in-law – who knows where it could end)

    Shouldn’t the church celebrate everybody?


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