Materials for Activity
- Pots, potting soil and flower seeds for all participants or small, inexpensive, potted houseplants suitable for the congregation's meeting space
- Additional gardening tools, such as watering cans and trowels, and supplies, including clean-up supplies
Preparation for Activity
- Identify recipients for potted seeds or plants. You might consider a family shelter, a residential nursing home or an adult day care or rehabilitation center. The plants would also make nice gifts for elders in the congregation, especially those who are no longer able to attend services. You might also decide to place plants inside or outside the congregation's meeting space. Secure any permissions and make arrangements to donate potted seeds or plants.
- Obtain flower seeds, seedlings or potted houseplants, making sure none are toxic to humans or pets.
- Identify a work space for the group to use that is near a water source. If the group will nurture the plants for an extended period, make sure you have a place to display the pots and to store gardening equipment/supplies.
- Optional: If appropriate, arrange for the group to pot and grow plants to sell, giving proceeds to an organization they wish to support. Perhaps others in the congregation-adults, children and youth-might assist this effort; discuss the possibilities with your religious educator and/or social action committee.
Description of Activity
If the group has chosen an ongoing Faith in Action project, continue work on it.
Or, consider this short-term Faith in Action project:
Planting New Life. Tell the group scientists have found it is healthy for humans to keep plants around and inside buildings. Ask if participants know why. Affirm that plants help improve air quality and humidity; plants can also add beauty to our surroundings. Helping people stay healthy can be an excellent way to practice Faith in Action. Unfortunately, economic injustice leaves some people so strapped for resources that they lack money or time for acquiring plants and thus do not get the benefits of living around plants. Providing a plant can not only make someone feel better, it also takes a step toward making life more equitable and fair.
If you have decided to engage the group to provide plants for the congregational meeting space, point out that the plants will add health benefits to the congregational building, and can help the congregation save money for other important projects, such as working for economic justice.
Show the group the planting supplies and invite participants to plant the seeds or pot the seedlings you have brought. Set protective saucers beneath all plants placed indoors.
Have youth give the seeds or plants an initial watering, then talk about later care. What must be done to keep the plants alive? Periodic watering is the greatest need. Ask if youth will volunteer to arrive early for future group meetings so they can water the seeds or plants.
Ask how youth would answer today's Big Question-How did life begin?-when it concerns seeds and houseplants. Can youth be the cause of tomorrow's flowering effects?