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

Activity 1: Story - The Presence of Angels

Activity time: 10 minutes

Dozens of UUA General Assembly attendees wear angel wings to peacefully respond to a Westboro Baptist Church protest in Columbus, Ohio, June 2016.

UUs at the 2016 General Assembly in Columbus, Ohio responded with angel wings to a hate protest.

Materials for Activity

  • Story, "The Presence of Angels"
  • Optional: Computer with Internet access and large monitor or digital projector and screen

Preparation for Activity

  • Read the story and prepare to share it with the group.
  • Read the discussion questions. Choose those that will best help the children share their interpretations of the story and relate it to their own lives.
  • Optional: Set up a computer with Internet access, and queue photos of the giant angels to show the group.

Description of Activity

Read or tell the story to the group.

After the story, invite the group to be silent for a moment to think about the story.

Then, ask participants to recap the story in their own words. What they recall indicates what they found most meaningful or memorable.

If you have a computer with Internet access, show the photos.

Say, in these words or your own:

When people see or hear about others doing something they think is wrong, many think their choices are to ignore the problem or to fight. Kat Sinclair took a different approach, one more like the passive resistance taught by Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., and Henry David Thoreau, whose ideas shaped theirs. Like those two great leaders and their followers, the Tucson protesters prepared to meet hatred with the power of simply being present and refusing to go away.

Lead a discussion using these questions:

  • How did the giant angels' presence help?
  • Can you think of other people who used the power of presence to prevent hurt, or help justice? What did they do?
  • Have you ever used the power of presence to help a friend? What did you do?
  • Has anyone ever been present for you in a way that was helpful?