What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured. — Kurt Vonnegut
IN TODAY'S SESSION... we discussed communities. We identified the communities to which we belong, including our UU congregation, and thought about what makes a community strong. We heard a story, based on an ancient Sufi poem, about a group of birds that discovered that sharing their own individual gifts held them together as a strong community. We played a game called Find the Simorgh and planned a ritual for our Signs of Our Faith community to use.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about... the story, "The Journey of the Birds." Online, you can listen to author Peter Sis speak with National Public Radio about his emigration from Czechoslovakia and his illustrated book, The Conference of the Birds (New York: Penguin, 2011), which tells a more detailed version of our story. Compare the two versions. How are they different? How are they the same?
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. As a family, choose an intentional action to welcome new congregational members. Invite them to a meal or an outing. Ask if you may sit with them during a worship service. Remember that the congregation is not the building—it is the people who come there to be together.
Family Adventure. How is your family involved in your neighborhood or city? What new ways could your family support and engage in the community where you live? The American Planning Association website for children about communities includes Crazy City Stories and a scavenger hunt that guides children to explore the place where they live. Find local projects through your congregation or a civic institution such as your city/town hall, community center, or public school district.
Family Ritual. Have you ever meditated on or prayed for world peace? How about peace in your neighborhood? If your family prays, meditates, or says grace, include your local community in meditations or prayers.
Teach your family and friends to play Find the Simorgh (Activity 3).
Leadership Suggestion. It is important for leaders to be well informed. Find out more about Sufism, an aspect of Islam. Start with an article on the History for Kids website, or with a book of poetry by Rumi.