Star of Gratitude: Thanksgiving Participation

June 27, 2023
colourful origami stars

For a participatory Thanksgiving Sunday reflection, pray the scriptures while creating an origami star of gratitude. Project a slide deck, with template instructions in the top left corner, an image of the developing shape on the right, and the corresponding scripture passage across the bottom of each slide. Have various people share the directions and scriptures. Between each slide change, provide a short wait with instrumental music to allow people time to complete the origami step and meditate on the scripture passage.


Prepare precut origami sheets, two per person. Partially complete some stars, so that people may choose their level of comfort and enter into the hands-on component while still being able to participate in the worship experience. This allows all ages to join in and helps to remove physical challenges for some participants. If you wish, invite people to write or draw what they are thankful for before they begin folding the paper.

For print or visual instructions, internet search easy origami star.

Praying Scripture and Folding the Star

  1. Start with the coloured side of the paper facing up. Fold the right point over to the left point. Deuteronomy 8:7 “For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hills.”
  2. Now fold that same point back over to the right, aligning the long edge with the right edge. Deuteronomy 8:10 “You shall eat your fill and bless the Lord your God for the good land that he has given you.”
  3. Flip the paper over to the other side, so the long edge is on the left. Psalm 65:1 “Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion, and to you shall vows be performed.”
  4. Fold the bottom point up to the top point, folding only the right section. Psalm 65:12–13 “The pastures of the wilderness overflow; the hills gird themselves with joy; the meadows clothe themselves with flocks; the valleys deck themselves with grain; they shout and sing together for joy.”
  5. Fold the bottom-left flap down, pressing it into a new point. 2 Corinthians 9:7 “Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
  6. Take the second sheet of paper, white side facing up. Fold the bottom point up to the top point. 2 Corinthians 9:11 “You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us.”
  7. Fold the right point over to the left point. 2 Corinthians 9:12 “For the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God.”
  8. Rotate the triangle so the folded edge faces away from you. Fold the bottom point up just a bit. Open the first star shape. Luke 17:15 “Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice.”
  9. Insert the triangle between the two flaps. You may want to secure the two pieces together with a bit of tape or glue. Luke 17:19 “Then he said to him, ‘Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.’”

Enjoy showing the created stars and giving thanks for their uniqueness. The stars might be collected and displayed together as an offering of gratitude or people might take the stars home.

Sandra Litt, LLWL (Licensed Lay Worship Leader), St. James U.C., Waterdown, Ont.