Activity time: 5 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Newsprint, markers, and tape
- Moral Compass poster
- A bold marker, or a piece of card stock and tape or a stapler
- Optional: One copy of Singing the Living Tradition
- Optional: Music CD or tape, and music player
- Optional: A guitar, piano or other instrument
Preparation for Activity
- Look at Hymn 414 in Singing the Living Tradition, "As We Leave This Friendly Place," and make sure you can lead the group in singing it. If it is unfamiliar, you might ask your music director to teach it to you before this session.
- If you prefer, choose an alternate song for your closing ritual. Find some suggestions in Session 1, Leader Resource, Alternate Closings. It is recommended that you use the same Closing song in every session.
- If you are uncomfortable leading a song, you can invite a musical volunteer to do it for you. Or, ask your music director to record the song, and use the recording to lead the group. You might even like to record the congregation's choir singing it.
- Write the words of the closing song on newsprint and place it where the children will be able to see it during the Closing.
- Place the Moral Compass poster where all of the children can see it.
- Write the word "Forgiveness" on a piece of card stock to attach to the Moral Compass poster. Or, if you prefer, plan to write the word "Forgiveness" directly on the poster.
- Customize, print out, and photocopy the Taking It Home section for all participants.
Description of Activity
This activity helps the children get used to practicing a closing ritual as a way of affirming their part in the faith community.
Gather the group in a circle. Thank the children for participating and sharing their stories and ideas in this session. Tell them something you liked about the way they worked together as a community.
Point out the Moral Compass poster. Say, in your own words:
Our compass shows us ways to make good decisions and how to be fair. If we are going to do what our inner voices and our hearts tell us is right, then we must learn to have courage and not give up at working for what we believe in, even if it takes a long time.
Ask them what the word is for keeping going even when something is hard? Affirm "perseverance."
Acknowledge the group for the ways in which they took part in and stuck with the activities of the day even when they were hard. Tell them that you are going to add "Perseverance," to the Moral Compass poster.
Write or post the word "Perseverance" on the Moral Compass poster.
Remind the children that the next time they meet they will have a chance to add more gems to the Gems of Goodness jar. Encourage them to write down the acts of goodness and justice they do (or witness). If appropriate, remind them that when the jar is full of gemstones, you will have a special celebration. You may wish to encourage them to try using perseverance as well as the other virtues you have posted on the Moral Compass poster.
Lead the children in singing Hymn 414 in Singing the Living Tradition, "As We Leave This Friendly Place." If the hymn is unfamiliar to some of the children, teach it line by line and then sing it once through together.
The song's lyrics are:
As we leave this friendly place,
Love give light to every face;
May the kindness which we learn
Light our hearts till we return.
Distribute the Taking It Home handout you have prepared. If new participants need to take home a Gems of Goodness notebook and parent handout, make sure they have these. Thank the children, tell them you look forward to seeing them next time, and dismiss the group.