We have to celebrate, because this brother of yours ... he was lost and has been found. — Christian scripture, Luke 15:32
In Creating Home, children discover and think about the journey that we as individual Unitarian Universalists take as we move between our family homes and our faith home. When we make the choice to leave our family home and come to our faith home, we may be expressing a simple desire to gather with others, an enjoyment of the habit of fellowship, or a deep spiritual yearning for community. In Comings and Goings, we will explore how it feels to leave our family home and be welcomed back. We will also observe how the family systems within our family home change when we leave and return, and what does not change, whether we are at home or away. We will identify the constant in our family home, love.
The central story for this session is "The Lost Son," an adaptation of a parable from Christian scripture. Sometimes known as the Prodigal Son, this story tells of a father's love when one son comes home. A parable may teach many lessons as it is read over and over. This session focuses on the feelings and actions of the younger son and the father in the story. How does it feel to be trusted when you leave home? How does it feel to be welcomed home? How does it feel in a family when you know you are loved?
If you are unfamiliar with Christian scripture, this might be a time to increase your knowledge. Present day conservative Christians believe that Biblical texts are literal, inerrant texts written by God. Liberal, main line Christians believe the scriptures are written by humans and inspired by God. This is a huge difference and one to note when teaching with Christian texts.
This session will:
- Demonstrate for participants that the love our families hold for us at home is always there for us, even when we are not present
- Help participants observe that family love is strong and compassionate
- Help participants understand the role of the family home to instruct us and then send us out into the world, always welcoming us on the return
- Teach participants that Unitarian Universalist heritage and values are reflected in warm welcome at the threshold of each home
- Prepare participants to understand growing up as a way of making meaning and finding purpose that may need to happen while being away from home
- Listen and respond to the central story, "The Lost Son"
- Experience the story through dramatic play with stick puppets
- Apply the theme of coming and going to their own lives in a rhythmic chant
- Explore homecomings in their own families
- Experience losing and finding something in a game