Description of Activity
Change within Our Congregation
Invite a guest from your congregational leadership to talk about how your congregation has changed over time. Examples might include differences among the ministers who have served the congregation over the years, changes in the order of service, relocation to a new meeting space, demographic changes in the membership or evolution in the way the congregation celebrates particular holidays and events.
"Used to Think" Chapel
Engage participants in preparing a chapel service for younger children based on the exploration of things children (and adults) "used to think," in Edith F. Hunter's book, Conversations with Children (Boston: Beacon Press, 1961).
Hunter poses the question, "Did you ever think something when you were younger and then, when you got to be older, find out it wasn't that way at all?" She continues:
For example, when I was in the first grade, I used to think that children in the third grade were practically grown-ups, but then when I got to be in the third grade, I didn't feel grown-up at all. But then I thought sixth graders were really old.
Hunter gathered many "used to thinks" from children, including:
- I used to think that we lived on the "inside" of the world ball, not on the outside.
- I used to think you grew bigger on your birthday.
- I used to think that when there were double lines down the middle of the highway that motorcycles were supposed to go in the space between them.
Hunter also notes that over the course of human history, adults have had many "used to thinks," too. She includes:
- The people who lived in Greece several thousand years ago used to think that it was the trees shaking that made the wind blow.
- Many people alive at the time of Columbus used to think that if sailors rode out into the ocean off Spain, after a while their boats would fall off the edge of the world and monsters would eat them up.
- People used to think that tomatoes were poisonous.
- The people who lived when my grandmother was alive did used to think that it was positively dangerous to go 15 miles per hour. They used to think that there never could be a flying machine - it would fall out of the air.
- People used to think that humankind would never get to the moon, or away from our earth at all.
As the group plans to introduce this topic to a younger group, give them opportunities to explore these questions for themselves. You might ask children to share some of their own "used-to-thinks." Then, you might challenge them to consider some of the things they think now, in terms of whether they will still think the same things are true a year from now, or five years from now, or when they are grown. Remind children that there will always be more things to find out.