I want to remind myself and others that our homes can become sacred places, filled with life and meaning. — Gunilla Norris
This session is the threshold of a journey that leaders and participants will take together, an exploration of the spiritual sense of home. In Session 1, children will learn the word "threshold" and investigate its meaning, beginning with the threshold of the program meeting space.
Most simply, a threshold identifies the entrance to and exit from a home. The room where you meet, the building that serves as a home for your faith community, and an individual family home each have a threshold. Gunilla Norris, a meditation teacher and author of the book Being Home: Discovering the Spiritual in the Everyday (Mahwah, New Jersey: Hidden Spring, 2001), believes that homes are sacred places. In this session, children are guided to pay special attention to their entering and leaving a home by crossing its threshold.
Home is a place you journey from and return to each day of your life. Even if your home changes, its relationship to your journeying does not. To combine the message of threshold and the message of journey, Creating Home uses a labyrinth. In existence for over 3,000 years, labyrinths lend themselves to a ritual of discovery. The labyrinth provided an ancient form of walking meditation. In this program, a labyrinth-based opening ritual designed for young children will help them slow down, focus their attention, and mark the moment they cross the threshold into a place of learning. The children will place their individual name stones upon the labyrinth as you open each session, and remove their name stones as part of the closing ritual. You will find resources with more information about labyrinths for yourself and for participants' families in this session's Taking It Home and Resources sections.
This session will:
- Begin to develop participants' sense of belonging to and contributing to this Creating Home community
- Introduce a "threshold" as a place of entrance and exit
- Introduce the idea of journeying from and returning to home
- Introduce Unitarian Universalist spiritual practices, including rituals using the chalice and the labyrinth
- Practice ritual together using the chalice, the labyrinth, and name stones.
- Experience symbols by choosing and decorating a name stone to represent themselves.
- Physically explore the concepts of threshold, journey, and return, using the labyrinth.
- Learn the term "family home" and describe their own family home.