The two reasons I’ve heard are: it’s an American invention (subtext: eugh!); and, we talk about God as father all the time, why make a big fuss about it?
My principal counter-argument is simply this – what does it say about our engagement with the lives of the people to whom we are sent, if we completely ignore a celebration that takes place on what is, in essence, our centre ground? Moreover where else will anyone be dealing with the hurts that are rooted up by days like this – bereavement, guilt, and the scars of broken families?* If we are imaginative, and sensitive, we can create an act of worship which rejoices in the fatherhood of God, and in good reflections of that love that we find in fathers (and other equivalent carers and role-models), but also commends to God all that falls short of that love, all we have lost of that love, and all those who yearn to express it, but can’t.
Invite families to bring their fathers to church to receive something: a card, a flower, I don’t know – a piece of fruit! Be imaginative (you’ll need to be, there is not much material out there), be audacious, be creative!
My apologies for having so little to offer. I know I say this everytime – but please share any gems you have, there is not much out there that I could find.
Patterns for Worship: A Service for Fathers’ Day
Canticles: A Song of God’s Children, and Potentially the Te Deum – perhaps just the highlights …
Videos: there are a handful here, but I confess I’ve not gone through them to check them for usefulness.
Sermon ideas: Here are a few links, but for heaven’s sake, please try and avoid telling men how to be a father! Rockies.net: how do we love our children, sermon central: assorted links,
This (very) American site, has some wise advice for planning Fathers’ Day.
* I have had someone break down in tears at being given the opportunity to receive a flower in memory of her long-dead father.