In "Creating Home," a Tapestry of Faith program
Learning about bees and their complex beehive life helps children understand that all creatures have and create homes. Unitarian Universalists affirm that we are part of an interdependent web of life. Noticing and honoring the homes of all creatures is a small act of faith.
Tell the group that you are going to take a walk outside the building and look for insect or animal homes. Ask them to put on any outdoor clothing they need.
Once you are outdoors, share this message with children or use your own words:
All homes are important and all creatures deserve to have a home. As Unitarian Universalists we believe that all creatures have a right to a home. We should try not to harm or destroy another animal's home if it does not pose a threat to us. This includes beehives, anthills, birds’ nests and other homes.
If we come across a beehive in the wild, remember that this is the home of a living creature. It deserves to be treated with respect. We should not disturb the hive or the bees around it.
Invite the children to look for signs of animal homes. Suggest they look for anthills on the ground, a hole in a tree that might be a doorway into a home for squirrels or burrowing insects, bird nests, or signs of other animal homes they are likely to find in the area where you are walking.
You may wish to have them walk in pairs or groups of three. Tell children where and how far they may walk, and be sure that all are within sight of an adult at all times.
Before it is time to go inside, gather the group together. Invite volunteers to report what they saw.
If your congregation has ever donated to Heifer International, or, if you are looking for a service project to broaden the group’s exploration of “home,” share this information with the children and gauge their interest:
Heifer International is an agency that strives to end poverty and world hunger. It particularly supports programs that provide both food and economic resources to improve the quality of life for families around the world. In several countries, Heifer sponsors beekeeping projects by providing start-up money for villages to purchase bees, bee boxes, and the equipment needed to collect and process honey to sell. Two such projects are located in Honduras, where local beekeepers are actively trying to bring back the stingless Honduran honeybee from near extinction. With these projects, then, Heifer is not only helping the families involved but also helping to preserve the natural ecosystem in this Central American country.
This Faith in Action activity was introduced in Session 2: Symbols of Faith. If children have brought items to donate to a refugee aid association, today you can organize and package the donations.
You may wish to lead children in writing a group note, or individual notes, to accompany their donations. You can distribute paper and pencils or markers, and assist children in drawing or writing a message of welcome and/or peace. You may wish to use a page of blank newsprint to write the word “Welcome” for children to copy onto their own pages.
Or, you can post a blank sheet of newsprint and gather the group’s ideas for a collective note. What are children’s wishes for the recipients of their donations? What words might help someone feel better about making a new family home, after they have lost one? Write the note yourself on a card large enough for children to sign their own names; you may wish to make a group card that all the children can sign, using a large sheet of construction paper folded in half.
If children will accompany you to a refugee aid association to bring their donations, prepare for the visit. Logistically, you will need to collect permission slips and firm up arrangements for parent volunteers to help with transportation and supervision. You also may wish to prepare the children with a discussion. Draw out the children about what they expect they will see at the refugee aid association, and what questions they may want to ask now or when they visit. Tell them the agenda for the visit.
Ask children whether anything about the visit makes them feel concerned. Exposure to refugees and their resettlement needs may raise fears in some children about dire situations that could make them lose their own homes. You may tell them there is very little chance of such a thing happening to them. You can also tell them that when such a thing does happen, caring volunteers are ready to help, just as they, themselves, are doing with their donations.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations.
Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Friday, May 17, 2013.
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