Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday Morning Material: The Living Tradition Ideas and Activities

Each Sunday, the congregation of our church recites our Living Traditions. On the weeks our children are in service, they do their best to recite them with us. I remember as a child reciting verses, singing hymns and participating in the rituals of the service. Our own children are growing up with this same weekly ritual, but I wonder, what is their understanding of them?

So, for this week, we will begin to learn about what the Living Tradition means to us on a daily basis. Given that Mondays tend to be rather slow in our house, I will find an activity that is hands on.

Day 1
Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;

What a mouthful for a child, right? I know many adults who would struggle with this. Let't start with dirt. I think every child has experienced dirt, right? So, either head out to your backyard for some diggin, or use potting soil. Place the dirt/potting soil into a tub, like a dishwashing tub or if outside, loosen some dirt from the pile. Place seashells, stones, marbles, pinecones in the pile and cover with dirt. Allow the children to explore, dig, and investigate the many hidden treasures.

Pine cones, dirt, etc are treasures, mysterious items that are given a special place in all cultures. For young children they experience life as a wonderous adventure filled with spirit and life. While this activity may seem too simplistic, we must recognize that living simply, allowing our spirits to renew is essential to living. By participating in simple pleasures, like getting our hands muddy, we are connecting with the divine.

More to come

Day 2
Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;

Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;

Day 4
Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;

Day 5
Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.

Day 6
Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

So, lets start with a fun, simple but amazing activity- Goop. Good is an amazing substance, a non-neutonian substance to be exact. It is make with cornstarch and water, but for this activity, we will keep the ingredients hidden during the process. If the children have already encountered this substance, they may be on to you, and I will give an alternative activity.

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