Alternate Activity 1: Leadership in Action - Sustenance for the Journey
Materials for Activity
- Newsprint, markers, and tape
- Ingredients for snack mix, and large bowls
- Plastic or paper bags for individual snack mix
- Ribbon or paper, and writing instruments
- Optional: Art materials to decorate small paper bags
Preparation for Activity
- Plan a time when children can personally give individual bags of snack mix to other congregational members. Calculate how many bags the group will need to make. If you plan to hand out bags during or after a worship service, make sure you will have enough for first time visitors, as well. You might have the children distribute a bag to each child, or each family, in the RE program at the close of a morning's session.
- Purchase ingredients for snack mix. Take care to follow your congregation's policy on nuts or other foods, and to check with parents/caregivers about children's food allergies or restrictions.
- Cut lengths of ribbon to tie around individual snack bags, or strips of paper to insert into the bags. Make these long and wide enough for children to write a phrase or sentence. Set the ribbon or paper on work tables, with crayons or markers. (Only non-toxic markers should be used on paper that will be inserted into a bag of snacks.)
- Pour snack mix ingredients into large bowls, and set aside.
- Post blank newsprint.
- Optional: If you will put the snack mix in small paper bags, provide additional decorating materials and plan for extra time so children can decorate the bags with inspiring messages and artwork.
- Optional: If you wish to give each participant an individual snack mix bag at the close of this session, make them during this activity. Write a message for each child to encourage their individual, lifelong faith journeys.
Description of Activity
Children stuff snack-size bags with snack mix and words of inspiration.
Gather children at work tables. Ask them what they would take with them to sustain themselves on a long journey. Affirm their answers. Then, ask what they think people could use to sustain themselves on a spiritual journey. What sorts of things might be like food or water for their spirits? Remind them about the story of Antoinette Brown and Olympia Brown. What did each of them give the other to sustain them on the long road toward living out their faith? Affirm answers such as "support," "encouragement," "being an example/role model," "showing it is possible to succeed at a hard goal."
Invite children to help sustain congregants on their faith journey. Say, in these words or your own:
All of us are on a faith journey. We will all find our own ways to live our faith. It is a long journey. What can we do to sustain the people in our congregation on each of their long faith journeys? Let's mix a snack mix to sustain the body, and we'll add some words of inspiration to sustain the spirit.
Ask the children to help you think of some words they could write on ribbon (or paper) to tie around (or put inside) a packet of snack mix. You might prompt with single words, such as "love," or short phrases, such as "Your spirit is beautiful;" "You are a faith leader." Write the words on newsprint.
Have children write words or phrases on ribbon to tie around bags or on paper to insert into bags.
Set out bowls of snack mix ingredients. Make sure you have enough for everyone.
If each child is making more than one or two snack mix bags, collect all the finished bags in baskets.
Lead the children to put on their stoles and walk together to the location where you will distribute bags.
Afterward, talk as a group about the experience. How did people react to being offered a bag of snacks? Was any child asked to explain the gift? How did it feel to give them out?