Activity time: 15 minutes
Preparation for Activity
- Invite a long-time member of your congregation to come share recollections of the congregation's history. Explain the Rev. David Pettee's story of seeking his family's truth, and give them the story "Hard Truths" to read. Make sure the guest is willing to talk honestly about difficult or embarrassing times in the congregation's life as much as moments of which the congregation is proud.
Description of Activity
Congregations, like individuals, have family histories. Some stories of a congregation's past spark pride-congregational growth, involvement in important social issues, acts of caring. But congregations, like families, also have difficult or embarrassing episodes. Your group can "seek the truth in love" about your congregation's history in much the same way that Rev. Pettee did with his family history. Invite a long-term member or congregational historian to come speak with the group. Ask them to share, in particular, difficult or embarrassing times in the congregation's history. Prepare the children to ask follow-up questions. You might start the questions with these:
- Do you see ways this history continues to affect the congregation today?
- How, if at all, did people repair broken relationships?
- What were the best and the worst ways the congregation has handled destructive behavior?
- Is this story commonly told among the congregation's members, or is it largely hidden away?
- Are there many versions of the story? How have they changed over the years?