When our heart is in a holy place, we are blessed with love and amazing grace . . . — from "When Our Heart Is In a Holy Place," Hymn 1008 in Singing the Journey
IN TODAY'S SESSION . . . the theme was "Saying goodbye to friends." We said goodbye to one another by celebrating this group of friends and the whole Chalice Children program.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER . . . Read some of the books suggested in this session:
- You Be You by Linda Kranz, 2011. A companion book to the bestselling Only One You, Kranz once again uses her famous "rockfish" to express the themes of diversity, individuality, and acceptance for children.
- The Red Book by Barbara Lehman, 2004. In this wordless Caldecott Honor Book, a magical red book crosses oceans and continents to deliver one girl into a new world of possibility, where a friend she's never met is waiting. And as with the best of books, at the conclusion of the story, the journey is not over.
- Inside All by Margaret H. Mason, 2008. With a few well-chosen words and rich, suggestive illustrations, the reader is taken from the outer edges of the universe to a planet, a village, a home, and a room, into the heart of a warm, sleepy child, and finally to an awareness of love that somehow encompasses it all.
- Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy by Jacky Davis, illustrated by David Soman, 2009. As Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy, Lulu and Sam save the playground from hairy monsters and big mean robots, and have their very own parade on the bouncy dinosaurs. They figure out that when they work together, they can create fun games that they both like to play.
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try . . . remembering events and changes from your family life over the year. What or who did you said goodbye to? What or who did you said hello to?
A Family Adventure. Continue your preschooler's Chalice Children friendships by inviting the other Chalice Children families to join you for a playground playdate.
A Family Discovery. Invite your child to share what they especially remember about coming to your Unitarian Universalist congregation for Chalice Children—the stories they heard, the crafts they made, the friends they played with. Although the children's memories are not highly developed, they will readily remember some special times with a little help. Prompt them by asking, for example:
- What are some things that happen at our . . . ? (You can suggest weddings, dedications, memorials, friends, fun, holidays, Teddy Bear Month, etc.)
- Do you remember Teddy Bear Month, when you brought your teddy to the congregation?
- What is our favorite symbol for our church [congregation] called? (the chalice)
A Family Game. Sing the Goodbye Song together. This song includes sign language for "goodbye" and "friends." Before singing the song, learn the two signs (see both signs demonstrated, on YouTube):
- Goodbye: Bend your arm at the elbow, palm up and facing out, and wave your fingers.
- Friends: Point each index finger up, cross them to make an "X" (inside finger touching inside finger), and then have the index fingers grab each other. Then re-cross them the opposite way, make an "X," and have them grab each other again. You can describe this to the children as "fingers giving each other a hug."
Sing the "Goodbye Song," leading the children in the actions noted after each line:
Goodbye, friends. [do the sign for "goodbye," then the sign for "friends"]
Goodbye, friends. [repeat]
Goodbye, friends. [repeat]
It's time [tap wrist]... to say [tap mouth]... goodbye! [do the sign for "goodbye"]
Or, sing and dance to "You've Got a Friend in Me" from the movie Toy Story.
A Family Ritual. This evening, offer a chalice lighting and give thanks for the Chalice Children program. Use the responsive reading the children did in today's session
Invite your child to join you and indicate with words and motions the words and motions you wish them to repeat. Read the leader part, then read the "All" part in a softer voice when it is their turn to repeat:
Leader: We work and play together and make friends. Community is all around. [draw a circle with your hand]
All: Community is all around. [everyone draws a circle with their hand]
Leader: We want to grow in love and understanding. Love is all around. [draw a circle with your hand]
All: Love is all around. [everyone draws a circle with their hand]
Leader: We ask questions and wonder. Wonder is all around. [draw a circle with your hand]
All: Wonder is all around. [everyone draws a circle with their hand]
Leader: We look for answers inside of us. Our spirits are all around. [draw a circle with your hand]
All: Our spirits are all around. [everyone draws a circle with their hand]
Leader: We share with one another. Our friends are all around. [draw a circle with your hand]
All: Our friends are all around. [everyone draws a circle with their hand]
Leader: We want each person to be themselves. Our differences are all around. [draw a circle with your hand]
All: Our differences are all around. [everyone draws a circle with their hand]
Leader: We are connected to everything. All is all around. [draw a circle with your hand]
All: All is all around. [everyone draws a circle with their hand]