From you I receive, to you I give, together we share, and from this we live. — "From You I Receive," Hymn 402 in Singing the Living Tradition
IN TODAY'S SESSION . . . the theme was "At our church [congregation], all kinds of people can be friends, even if they are different from one another." And we discovered that the chalice has a smile in it!
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER . . . Invite your children to ask questions about differences. Read some of the following books on differences:
- It's OK to Be Different by Todd Parr, 2009. It's also okay to need some help. It's Okay to Be Different cleverly delivers the important messages of acceptance, understanding, and confidence in an accessible, child-friendly format featuring Todd Parr's trademark bold, bright colors and silly scenes.
- Am I a Color, Too? by Heidi Cole and Nancy Vogl, illustrated by Gerald Purnell, 1995. In verse, a boy considers his racial identity since his mother is Caucasian and his father is African American. He concludes that people are people, no matter what their labels or "colors."
- Lemon the Duck by Laura Backman and Laurence Cleyet-Merle, 2008. This gorgeous picture book is based on the inspirational true story of Lemon, the Pekin duck who was born in an elementary school classroom. Neurological issues make Lemon unable to walk, but with the support of a compassionate teacher and her students, Lemon is still able to become one happy duck.
- Roland Humphrey Is Wearing a WHAT? by Eileen Kiernan-Johnson, illustrated by Katrina Revenaugh, 2013. The story of a little boy's quest to be his authentic self, dressed in pink and festooned with sparkles, in a world that frowns on boys who like "girly" things.
- Shapesville by Andy Mills, 2003. Shapesville is a small town where five friends of various shapes, sizes, colors, and talents discuss their differences and celebrate what makes each of them unique.
- Susan Laughs by Jeanne Willis, 2000. Told in rhyme, this story follows Susan through a series of familiar activities. Not until the end of the story is it revealed that Susan uses a wheelchair. Told with insight and without sentimentality, this is an inspiring look at a spunky little girl whose physical disability is never seen as a handicap.
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try . . .
A Family Adventure. Invite a new friend from your congregation over for a playdate.
A Family Discovery. Adults can read "God Makes No Mistakes: Creating Beloved Community for All Our Children," a sermon by Sally Patton. Together with your child, listen to the song "Make New Friends" on YouTube.
A Family Game. Sing "Make New Friends" together.
A Family Ritual. Light a chalice before dinnertime together. Say chalice-lighting words, such as, "We light this chalice for the warmth of love, the light of truth, and the energy of action."