Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sunday - a little Children's Chapel

Tomorrow will be busy, so I'll just post my Sunday Religious Education post now. One of my tasks is to create meaningful and developmentally appropriate worship experiences for our kids. I mostly focus on simple themes of connection and wonder, and try to find creative ways to engage all their senses. In fact, I'm quite fond of meditations involving mindful eating of something. The theme this month is "Just Breathe", and then I've got a little satsuma orange for each child and we will do the "meditation on an orange" from A Pebble for Your Pocket. This meditation starts with looking at the orange and thinking about where it came from, smelling it, slowly peeling it, tasting it, and all the while thinking about the tree and the rain and the soil, etc. It's very lovely - I love Thich Nhat Hanh. Here is the script for the Children's Chapel I'm going to do tomorrow (supposed to be about 15 minutes long):

Children’s Chapel 10/25-2009

1. Opening Words:

Life is a gift for which we are grateful.
We gather in community
To celebrate the glories and the mysteries
Of this great gift.
---Marjorie Montgomery

2. Chalice Lighting
For the things we know and the things we won’t,
We light this chalice
For questions that have answers and those that don’t,
We light this chalice.
For friends who get knocked down and get up again,
We light this chalice
We light this chalice for peace and for friendship and love in our world.
We light this chalice
---M. Maureen Killoran

3. Song – When I breathe in
When I breathe in, I breathe in love
When I breathe out, I breathe out peace
(Keep going as a chant)

4. The story of air

In the beginning, our planet earth was not surrounded by a pillow of air. There was no oxygen to breathe. But then something happened. Small plants in the sea learned how to make energy from the sun, and when they did that they breathed in carbon dioxide and they breathed out oxygen. Then the plants moved to the land, and they kept breathing out oxygen. But there was a problem, because after awhile there was too much oxygen! Many species went extinct and died out because so much oxygen in the atmosphere was toxic for them. The earth was out of balance.
Then something else happened. Life evolved that could breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. That life became animals, and when animals came out of the sea and onto the land they breathed in oxygen, and they breathed out carbon dioxide. And the plants kept breathing in the carbon dioxide, and breathing out the oxygen – and they were in harmony. Air in, air out.

5. Song – from you I receive
From you I receive,
To you I give,
Together we share,
And by this we live.
(keep going as a chant)

6. Meditation on an orange – by Thich Nhat Hanh (in A Pebble for Your Pocket)

7. If needed for time, yoga

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