When I am lonely, will you be my friend? — "When I Am Frightened," Hymn 1012 in Singing the Journey
IN TODAY'S SESSION . . . The theme of this unit, and this session in particular, is that our congregation is a place for making friends and being a friend, and that being a member of this group means helping to make it a friendly place for others.
Teddy Bear Month uses a third party—teddy bears—to introduce some potentially scary situations (being lost, being sick) in a nonthreatening way. Please have your child bring a teddy bear or other favorite stuffed animal to each session in Teddy Bear Month: [add dates].
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER . . . Read some of the books suggested in this session:
- Patchwork Helps a Friend by Gail Greiner, illustrated by Jacqueline Schmidt, 2013. Patchwork, a colorfully quilted stuffed bear, sets forth on a quirky journey and enlists the help of his wildly eclectic bunch of buddies—including a great blue whale, a mama-loving llama, and a gracious narwhal—to help him repair his best pal, a raggedy bear named Fred.
- Bear Hug by Kathleen and Michael Hague, 2013. A real bear hug is one that's straight from the heart. This charming picture book is a celebration of the love between children and their teddy bears.
- Who Wants an Old Teddy Bear? by Ginnie Hoffman, 2003. Andy is hoping for a toy rocket ship for his birthday. When Grandma sends a teddy bear instead, he is unhappy and disappointed. But a nightmare adventure turns Andy and the teddy bear, Arthur, into fast friends.
- Bear's New Friend by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman, 2009. Eager to play in the fall leaves, Bear heads out to find his friend, Mouse, but is startled by the clatter in a tree. Determined to find out who is making all the noise, Bear goes on a short journey, picking up all of his friends on the way. The source of the clatter is revealed to be a quite bashful owl, whom Bear declares is their new friend!
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Invite your child's favorite stuffed bear to join the family at dinner. Set a place for the bear. Model hospitality: Ask the bear its preferences and pretend to serve food and beverages. After dinner, thank the bear for joining you!
A Family Adventure. Invite a new friend—and their bear!—from your congregation to your house for a playdate.
A Family Ritual. Invite the teddy bear to join you as you light a chalice together. Say chalice-lighting words, such as, "We light this chalice for the warmth of love and friendship, the light of truth, and the energy of action."