Today we are exploring our 2nd Principle.
Children’s Language: Orange, be kind in all you do
Adult’s Language: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations
We are reading the story The Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco. In The Trees of the Dancing Goats, as Trisha’s family prepares to celebrate Hanukkah, they learn that many of their neighbors have been stricken with the fever. Concerned that their friends might not be able to prepare for and celebrate Christmas, the family is moved to action. Working into the night, they prepare food, candles, and small trees decorated with Grandpa’s hand-carved toys—goats and other animals lovingly created for his grandchildren for Hanukkah. After delivering the Christmas cheer, the giving family rejoices over the miracle of true friendship as they light the last candles of their Hanukkah celebration.
We will make our own decorations to hang in our homes.
Things to discuss at home:
- I wonder how you would feel if your mother suggested you give away a gift you loved to someone else to make them happy?
- I wonder if you agree that it is better to give than receive?
- I wonder if you know what a miracle is?
- I wonder if you believe in miracles?
- I wonder what it means to say “love your neighbors like yourself?”
- I wonder if there is something you can do over the holidays to show you care for people who need some extra care?
Today we heard the Hanukkah story and played the dreidel game.
A bunch of small items to act as counters. Raisins, pretzel sticks, M&M's, chocolate coins, beans, buttons.
- Divide the counters equally among the players.
- Every player contributes one counter into a central pile. This becomes the “pot.”
- Players spin the dreidel in turn and contribute or collect items from the pot based upon which letter faces up when the dreidel stops its spin.
Nun – the player collects nothing from the pot.
Gimmel – the player gets it all.
Hey – the player collects half of the pot.
Shin – The player sets one of his own items into the pot.
The player who gains the most items wins.
Today we are exploring special December holidays. In our Mystery Quest, we’ll explore what the holidays are and what they mean. That's appropriate because there is a lot of mystery connected with these holidays. Then, in our Energy Burner, you 'II get a chance to respond to some questions about the holidays. Finally, for the Inner Quest, we 'II ask you to look inside yourself to see what holiday is most important to you, then make a symbol of that holiday.
This Sunday we begin working on the worship service which we will run on Dec. 20. This is a fun and exciting event!
Explorers who do not want a speaking part or won’t be a church on Dec. 20 will help with props, costumes and other things!
If your child wants to participate please click here.
Coming of Age
There's an old saying, “Into each life, some rain must fall.” How we understand and respond to the rain in our lives is important. The purpose of this session is to explore why bad things (disease, accidents, divorce, death, tragedy, etc.) happen. Do people do something to deserve bad things? Do bad things happen to good people? What is evil and where does it come from? We'll define bad things and examine how we respond to them.
We specifically explore the emotion of anger because it is a typical response to bad things, and people often have a hard time expressing anger in healthy ways. The youth use clay to sculpt what anger looks like. After that, they sculpt whatever they'd like to, but they must keep manipulating the clay for the rest of the class. There are four reasons for using clay in this session:
- Manipulating clay can be therapeutic during a difficult time (try it yourself!). This can be a scary topic for youth who have already experienced bad things, bringing back their powerful and confusing feelings. You can expect to have some youth in the group who've endured their parents' divorce, but keep in mind you might also have youth who've faced the death of a loved one, foster care, poverty, life-threatening illness, or violence. So the clay can be a comfort to them, giving them something to hold on to (literally).
- There have always been people who have expressed their religious ideas and feelings through art, including sculpture. So a faith statement could be done as sculpture, but the youth aren't likely to attempt it if they aren't introduced to the art form.
- People often have better, more open, more relaxed discussions when their hands are busy. It may be counterintuitive, but instead of being a distraction, the clay can help focus the discussion and keep it on track.
- Some people are art-phobic and they would rather walk through fire than do an art activity. So this session will push them out of their comfort zone. This session is do-able for even the most art-resistant because at the end of class, they can simply lump their clay back into a ball. There is no pressure to create something recognizable.