Lots of churches have old hymnals lying around. Nobody really wants them but everyone feels a little guilty throwing them out. Maybe they aren’t as useful for Sunday mornings anymore, but old hymnbooks are still full of beauty. Theological truths, historical connections, familiar songs that trigger old memories and feelings… plus, the pages themselves can become a canvas!

You can watercolor paint right onto the pages and still see the music beneath it! My daughter (pictured) and I used this as a nightly devotional for a while. Our goal was to paint a page together every day, and while we painted, we talked about the words in the song or sang it if we new it. My then 1 year old son even joined us sometimes. Anyone can paint with watercolors!

This makes a great retreat activity too! Have folks pick a hymn that is meaningful to them, let them make it beautiful anyway they choose, share it and send it home with them. Sunday School or Afterschool children enjoy this activity as well. Just be prepared- hymn lyrics can inspire some big theological questions from kids.

(If this connects with you or someone in your congregation, make sure you check out the world of Bible Journaling. Amazing!)