Tapestry of Faith: Sing to the Power: A Social Justice Program for Children Grades 4-5

Taking It Home: The Power of Persistence

Step by step the longest march can be won, can be won.

Many stones can form an arch, singly none, singly none.

And by union what we will can be accomplished still.

Drops of water turn a mill, singly none, singly none.

— Traditional union song

IN TODAY'S SESSION... the children learned about Phebe Hanaford, a Universalist minister born in 1829 who worked for women's suffrage for more than 60 years. They carved soap as an experience of slow, careful persistence, and they acted out the story of the Old Alchemist, in which a man finds a surprising way of turning dirt into gold after much effort.

EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. What sorts of things do members of your family work hard for over time? Do family members have hobbies, musical or athletic pursuits, or social/political causes that that they have persisted at over years? What have you gained from sticking with something that matters to you?

FAMILY RITUAL. All of us can use encouragement when we are feeling the challenge of sticking to the work of achieving a goal, whether it is a homework assignment, a hobby, or a lifestyle change. Have a few ritual words to share when the going gets tough. For example, saying "step by step" can be a blessing as well as a reminder that significant goals take time and attention.

FAMILY ADVENTURE. A lengthy or challenging hike or bike ride is a good way to experience both the difficulties and rewards that come with persistence. Plan a hike or excursion that is not overwhelming, but which pushes family members' typical assumptions about their stamina, their ability to persist.