There shall be
Eternal summer in the grateful heart. — Celia Thaxter, in the poem "A Grateful Heart" (1872)
In this session we will focus on the sixth Unitarian Universalist Source, "Spiritual teachings of earth centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature," expressed in children's language as "the harmony of nature and the sacred circle of life."
Gratitude is a spiritual orientation connected to the experience of joy and the practice of generosity. This session cultivates an "attitude of gratitude" as a practice that leads to spiritual health and well being. Children talk about the importance of gratitude in their lives and explore how gratitude can feel, in our feelings and in our bodies. The central story, "The Rebirth of the Sun," introduces the winter solstice and how the rhythms of nature support our life. In a gratitude circle, participants practice articulating specifically what they are grateful for and appreciate, when they say "thank you."
This session will:
- Present a lesson about gratitude based in the sixth Unitarian Universalist Source, "the harmony of nature and the sacred circle of life"
- Demonstrate our connections to the rhythms of nature through a story about the winter solstice
- Cultivate in children an "attitude of gratitude" and provide opportunities to express thanksgiving
- Foster an ethic of caring for the Earth by promoting awareness of and gratitude for the gifts we receive from nature
- Teach a way to express gratitude so it is personalized, specific, and meaningful.
- Learn about the sixth Unitarian Universalist source, "The harmony of nature and the sacred circle of life," through a story about the winter solstice in which children express their gratitude to the sun.
- Experience and articulate emotional and physical feelings that accompany a focus on gratitude
- Appreciate the gifts we receive from nature's cycles and rhythms, and embrace our responsibility to care for the Earth just as the Earth cares for us
- Practice saying thank-you meaningfully to one another, in a gratitude circle.