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Taking It Home, Session 16: The Gift Of Community

In "Wonderful Welcome," a Tapestry of Faith program

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

IN TODAY'S SESSION... The children explored the intangible gift of community. They learned about the rural American tradition of barn-raising, and talked about how in modern communities people work together to build something that benefits everyone, such as a playground. The children engaged in community activities including singing, dancing, and designing and building a playground together. They celebrated their community accomplishments with a snack.

EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about... Have a family conversation to identify the various communities you belong to as individuals and as a family. These may include a child's soccer team, a parent or teenager's work colleagues, an adult's book club, children's neighborhood friends, and your Unitarian Universalist congregation. Talk about what it means to be part of each of these communities. How is the intangible gift of community expressed in your family? In your neighborhood? In your child(ren)'s school community? In your congregation?

EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try... your own version of a barn-raising at home. You might take different roles to set up a terrarium for a pet turtle, put together a family picnic, clean out a messy closet, or construct a fruit salad with a variety of ingredients. Make sure each person has an important role in completing the project you choose, and that everyone gets to enjoy the results.


The organization, Habitat for Humanity , engages groups and individuals in projects to build housing for people in need in the United States . While young children cannot volunteer, unskilled builders are welcome, including teenagers. Room and board is arranged and sometimes subsidized for out-of-town volunteers. Read about Habitat's Gulf Coast housing effort and other projects. Consider helping the organization by raising funds through your congregation or organize a group to help build a home.


In rural America , after barn-raising, communities might celebrate with a party in the barn they had just built. Listen to some American folk dance music online. Look locally for family opportunities to try barn dancing, contra dancing, square dancing or international folk dancing to capture the sense of community celebration together that your child(ren) experienced in this Wonderful Welcome session.

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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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