Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
— Margaret Mead, 20th-century anthropologist and author
This session introduces the intangible gift of community. It lifts up the rural, 19th-century American tradition of barn-raising as a demonstration of what a community can achieve together, and the barn dance as an expression of celebration for a shared accomplishment. The activity of building a model for a community playground mimics the communal barn-raising. Consider doing the Faith in Action activity to make the children's playground plan a reality.
As you lead this session, help the children understand how they have given and received the gift of community every day they have been together in Wonderful Welcome.
Large cardboard boxes, empty rolls from gift wrap, empty coffee cans, pipe cleaners, and plastic food storage containers may be useful for children to construct a model of their dream community playground in Activity 4. As you gather items, keep in mind the number of children in the group, the type and size of the meeting space, and the amount of time you will have for building a model playground. If this is not the final session of Wonderful Welcome, you may choose to spend more time on Activity 4, Community Playground, and save the Welcome Celebration (Activity 5) for another meeting.
Plan ahead if you need a volunteer to lead Alternate Activity 2, Square Dance.
This session will:
- Introduce the intangible gift of community
- Offer participants opportunities to build something together for their whole community and celebrate their shared accomplishment
- Engage participants in the spiritual practices of opening and closing rituals.
- Learn about the rural American tradition of community barn-raising
- Learn about the modern practice of building community playgrounds
- Experience shared work for a common goal and shared celebration
- Understand that they have given and received the gift of community each time they have been part of Wonderful Welcome.