Activity time: 20 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Newsprint, markers, and tape
- Poster board, blank paper, and/or index cards
- Color markers
- Scissors, including left-handed scissors
Preparation for Activity
- Arrange with your religious educator, minister, and lay leaders for the group to display and/or distribute the message at a congregational gathering. Obtain permission to post signs or leave cards around the building.
- Decide whether the group will create sandwich boards, make posters, and/or write the message on index cards to post or distribute. Set materials on worktables.
- Write the message on newsprint for participants to copy: You are not the same person you were when you began to read this sign.
Description of Activity
Spread a message about personal transformation. Engage participants to create sandwich boards to wear at your congregation’s coffee hour, during worship, or at another time when a crowd gathers, displaying this message:
You are not the same person you were when you began to read this sign.
Gather the group and introduce the idea that each of us is changing, all the time. Ask for examples of changes inside and outside ourselves. Depending on the age(s) of participants, you might offer:
- Your hair, our fingernails, and our toenails are growing all the time.
- You learn to read not all at once but in steps, by learning letters, sounds, and the meaning of words.
- One day you notice people doing cartwheels or discover something flexible your body can do. Then maybe you practice on your own, learn from older kids, or take a class. You learn more skills. Now you are a gymnast.
Now ask for examples of changes that “just happen” (such as hair growing) and examples of changes that need some of the tools explored in the session: intention or faith, love, belief in justice, belief that change is possible, determination and hard work.
Suggest that others in your congregation might appreciate a reminder that we are all, always, changing, and that we can make inner changes ourselves, by using some of these tools. Perhaps your reminder will lead to a few miracle transformations.
Point out the message you have posted and explain how and where the children will distribute it. Invite them to speculate what might happen to someone reading the message.
Indicate the materials participants need to make sandwich boards. And/or, invite them to write the message on index cards or blank paper to post or distribute. If appropriate, ask children for ideas about where to post or leave message cards: Near a coat rack, outside a rest room, on benches in your chapel or sanctuary?
Ask participants what they would say to people who read the signs and wonder what it is all about:
- We all change physically all the time.
- We also change inside, and we change inside for the better if we choose.
- We learned a Celtic tale about how Brigit changed a selfish landowner’s heart and he became kind and generous.
- We talked about how we and people we know can change inside to be more caring.
- Do you have a story you would like to share about how you have changed inside to be a more just and loving person?
Let participants practice what they will say with each other. Consider partnering for this activity.