Throughout our abundant lives, we can find simple and quick ways to connect our learning and growth at church to our lives at home.
We learned about the determination it takes to build a Beloved Community. Through our proposed eighth principle, we are reminded that racism didn’t come to be overnight, so our work to dismantle, or take it apart, won’t happen overnight either. That’s an important reason why we believe that we don’t run away when things get hard. In Beloved Community, what matters is our process of communicating and understanding each other with grace and compassion. How might your family work together to build Beloved Community and dismantle racism? Discuss with your family what being determined looks like, especially when it’s difficult.
Social Justice Body Prayer or Mindful Moments with Lea
Consider these thoughts by Starhawk ~ “ Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power… Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healing. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free..”
Listen to: Be the Light by Lea Morris
Weekly Chalice Lighting
(Excerpt from Amanda Gorman’s poem The Hill We Climb)
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it
Discuss: What does determination mean to you, and how do you know when you feel determined? What role does determination play in solving problems and building Beloved Community?
Read: The Tortoise and the Hare by Aesop
A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara
Bouncing into the Beloved Community
For this game, you will need a shoebox or similar box, 8-10 ping pong balls, and a Sharpie marker.
Decorate or cover the shoe box if you like, or keep it simple–undecorated is fine. Cut a large heart roughly in the middle of your shoe box lid so that when you set the shoebox on end, the heart is up-and-down, and in the middle to upper ⅓ of the lid (facing you). Above the heart, write “Beloved Community.” This is your target.
Next, draw all different faces on the ping pong balls. Maybe you want to portray different emotions. Maybe you want to use Sharpie markers in a rainbow of colors. Or maybe you want to write different names on the balls. These are your people.
Set the shoe box up on its end at the far end of a table. Sitting opposite the box, your task is to bounce the ping pong balls into the open heart. Your goal is to get everyone into the beloved community! Work together as a family, or set up a challenge to see who can do it the fastest.
Blessing of Beloved Community
May we grant one another dignity, even in disagreement, even in disappointment, even in disgrace, for dignity builds the beloved community.
May we be honest with ourselves and with one another, for hard truths, new truths, and shared truths build the beloved community.
May we relate to one another with respect for the stories, customs, wishes, rights, and feelings that make us who we are, for this regard builds the beloved community.
May we grow kindness in our hearts, even and especially when we feel mean or resentful, for loving compassion builds the beloved community.
May we practice humility, shedding ego and moving humbly in the Light of the Holy that inhabits all, for this quiet strength builds the beloved community.
In our diversity of thought, personality, approach, background, body, upbringing, experience, and every other expression of life-force among humanity, may we hold one another in our commitment to create the future we need and want together–the dream manifest, the beloved community.
-Teresa Honey Youngblood
Social Justice Body Prayer
From Deep Fun https://www.uua.org/youth/library/deepfun/45594.shtml
Centering: I invite you to move into our meditation position. Sit comfortably in your chair or stand on the floor. Put your hands on your lap or at your side. Focus your eyes in front of you. Find your breath moving in your body by taking in one breath through your nose and then slowly breathing it out through your mouth.
Now: Reach down to get power from the grassroots (touch your toes) Reach up to the sky for inspiration (reach your arms up in the air) Stomp out injustice (stomp feet on the floor) Move in the winds of change (with arms out to your side twist your torso from left to right)” Repeat with a faster pace and repeat until you can’t go any faster
Mindful Moments with Lea BELOVED COMMUNITY
NOTE ABOUT THIS MONTH’S SONG: Lea’s first verse of Part of Me is “Father, Mother, Sister, Brother, All are Part of Me.” Use these words for the metric, and as a “zipper song” to create a song that is all inclusive. In other words, ask the children who is in their family and sing it, i.e. “Momma, Mother, Stuart, Autumn” or “Katie, Mark, Big Jade plant, Dogger” or “Grandma, Aunt Bell, Norah, Carol.” If there are only two people, add pets, plants, and other things they love! It may be easier to recite names of family members rather than roles.
- Remind the children about the importance of calming ourselves so we can better focus on each other and our time together.
- Tell them that a special friend named Lea has written a song for us to learn and it is a song that teaches us about the importance of this month’s theme: Stillness.
- Since you are using the 4-minute (longer version) video, tell the kids that we are going to sing along with Lea and her children and then listen to their conversation. Tell them that afterwards you will have your own conversation.
- Center the children before playing the video.
- After the video talk and listen with your child to discover all the things you heard together.