Thursday, January 22, 2015

February and March Children's Programs

Our program on January 4th drew a nice number of children. Getting acquainted and offering a gentle introduction to a few Quaker practices (the first 10-15 minutes of Silent Worship, centering, developing first name relationships with teachers) and principles (equality, community, stewardship) is a delight. As children practice listening for their own inner voices and looking for “that of God in all of us” I believe they grow in self-esteem, mindfulness, empathy and resilience.  The children have done amazingly and are certainly a bright spot in the entire Meeting’s day.

Holi by PaulaLyn Carvalho
There are wonderful school, camp, and preserve programs for these children already, so in our quick 45 minutes together I want to offer a simple connection to something that is special to our philosophy. We've touched on testimonies of community, equality, and stewardship in the last three programs, so we chose to highlight caring and growing in a diverse set of cultures for our next two sessions.    

Here are the plans. Please feel free to share them with others who might be interested--you don’t have to be members of the Meeting to join us.  If we need to cancel because of weather, we’ll hold the program the next Sunday. 
Themed Programs on First Sundays
A monthly exploration with children for first day
followed by a family style potluck lunch!

February 1:  Looking for the Good & Sharing our Gifts--Stewardship Testimony
Children’s Activity:  Song: Love is like a magic penny. Scavenger Hunt (for the pieces for our “extra hug”craft).  Read aloud: Crow Boy by Taro Yashima. (Or similar book about individual differences and commonalities).

Testimony of Stewardship: Friends strive to use our gifts wisely, with gifts conceived of in the broadest of terms. To Friends, good stewardship means taking care of what has been given, not just for ourselves, but for the people around us and for future generations as well. Friends strive to use their gifts in accordance with their beliefs.

Luncheon theme: Variety—we’ll provide a variety of fruits and fruit dishes to explore!

March 1: Spring Celebrations—Stewardship and Diverse Communities
Introduction: Share about Spring holidays around the world (like the Polish Smigus Dyngus, or Wet Monday; India’s Holi; and Russia’s Pancake Week).  Read aloud:  George Shannon’s SeedsActivity: Planting real and imaginary seeds. Song (if time): Sing a Rainbow

Another phrasing of the Testimony of Stewardship: also called “Care for the Earth”, is valuing and respecting all of God’s creation; using our fair share of the earth’s resources; working for policies that protect the planet.

Luncheon theme: Eating the different parts of a plant!  (Roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruit, seeds!).

Come for 10:00 Meeting for Worship.  After a brief time, the children are invited to come to the social room for our children’s program, and then at 11:00 we all meet and share what we’ve done.  We follow that with a themed potluck which we hope you can stay for, too.