Activity time: 10 minutes
Description of Activity
Remind the group of how careful they were not to harm the new life forms they found in nature. Say that that action showed reverence for life found in nature. Tell the group that you will now name several actions. Ask participants to indicate if they think the action shows reverence or respect for life by standing on one side of the room. If they think it does not show reverence but disregards or disrespects life, they should move to the other side.
Actions for the continuum:
- recycling and other efforts to respect the earth's resources
- helping find homes for stray cats and dogs
- stepping on an ant bed
- praying for peace in the world
- planting trees on Arbor Day
- loading up a plate with too much food that you then throw away
- saying a grace at mealtime that honors the food that sustains us
- making mean comments about someone who looks different
Ask the children to name more actions they have done or witnessed that are signs of reverence for life. Invite them to consider both human life and animal and plant life. Say they may think of an action that happened in the congregation, in their family, at school, or anywhere else.
Acknowledge that sometimes we do not mean to disrespect life, but we are just careless. We don't put too much food on our plate because we plan to throw it away, but we are not thinking carefully about how much we really need. Showing reverence for life takes practice. The more we think about how we want to honor all life, the less careless we will be in our actions.