Youth and Family Themes
September: Community Connection
Week #1 – September 3: Getting to Know Me – Expanding my Insight
Main Message: In each stage of a person’s spiritual development, there is an unfolding much like a rose. As we open to knowing ourselves in a deeper way, more of the Truth of who we are is revealed. If one is master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has at the same time, insight into and understanding of many things. (Vincent van Gogh)
We are all here to express the unique gifts and talents we were born to share with our fellow playmates on the planet. When we live our life authentically and with a clear insight as to who we are, we will find it easier to see the Truth in all things.
Reading: We will read the book, Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner and discuss how his mom wanted to encourage Skippyjon to be who he really was. We will discuss how we can learn new things about ourselves by hanging around people from different cultures. We will discuss how when we expand our true selves out into the world we expand our comfort zone with God.
Activity: Youths identify and “capture” the unique talents and gifts that each member of the group possesses. Youth will be a “camera crew,” and will be taking a walk and taking some snapshots with the cameras, in order to tell a story. We will invite each youth to find and “capture:”
- Things they have never noticed before
- “Insights” that are new to them
- Things that remind them of themselves
They will then be Invited to tell a story with the images they’ve captured.
Advanced Material Tween/Teen: We will invite teens to pair up and practice sharing and discovering who they are, and to experience listening without hurried response. Teens will ask their partner to take a deep breath and then tell them who they are and respond with “Thank you.” Youth will learn that a mandala represents the cosmos, a microcosm of the Universe from the human perspective. We will be using a homemade mandala over the course of the whole month to represent the universe as they see it, the universe represented by their unique group.
Affirmation: My relationship with God expands the more I know my true self and the hearts of others.
Week #2 – September 10: Challenging the Appearance of My Life – Expanding Myself
Main Message: You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself. (Alan Alda) Each of us is a “microcosm” of this wonderful universe that we live in. Our “hidden treasures” are our gifts that are uniquely ours to give as our individual contributions to the Perfect Balance of the Macrocosm that is life.
Reading: We will read the book, Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner and discuss how he used his imagination to go on a wonderful adventure in Old Mexico. We will find out what secret identity we would like to have which can reveal a lot about different aspects of ourselves so we can embrace them with courage. We will discuss how “change” can expand who we are in the world.
Activity: We will continue our “Who We Are” Mandala Collage and experience a new way of seeing that will challenge the appearance of our lives. We will find images in magazines that reflect who I am, what I want, and what is important to me. We will share our images with a partner and ask what they think the image says about us.
Advanced Material Tween/Teen: We will discuss how much time we spend in meaningful conversation with our friends and family away from electronic devices and how it feels different when we have a chance to be heard. We will practice “Empathy Building” by practicing tuning in to each other’s feelings in 4 steps. We will join the younger group and practice our empathy skills by helping and asking them about their day.
Affirmation: When I am comfortable with change, I can expand who I am in the world.
Week #3 – September 17: Being True to Myself – Expanding Authenticity with Community
Main Message: Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. (Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday to You). Each one of us was born to serve in a unique way. In Truth, our business may not be to know how we fit into the “whole” picture but rather that we were born with the whole picture in mind as God expresses through us through our individuality.
Reading: We will read the book, Character Building Day by Day by Anne Mather and Louise Weldon, and discuss why it is important to speak your truth and not just what you think others want to hear. We will think of how we feel differently when we say something we don’t really mean vs. something we do believe. We will discuss how expressing our truth can expand who we are out in our community.
Activity: We will discover what we already know so that we can share that with our community by asking five questions. We will meditate on our answers and share our insights. We will continue our “What We Know” Mandala Collage, Part2, pointing out the sunbeams that show our “rays of understanding”.
Advanced Material Tween/Teen: We will feel what it is like to be in another person’s shoes and have the opportunity to choose the high road. After acting out completing several role play scenarios, we will be asked if we felt that we acted in a spiritual way. We will act out the role plays again, focusing on empathy for the other person. We will practice being “feeling detectives” as we join the younger class to help with the youth our “Who We Are” mandala.
Affirmation: My community responds to my greatness when I am authentic.
Week #4 – September 24: Nurturing Me – Expanding LOVE in the World
Main Message: Take care of your body with steadfast fidelity. The soul must see through these eyes alone, and if they are dim, the whole world is clouded. (Goethe) There is a “still, small voice” that is just the right pitch for each one of us to hear. Take time daily to ask “what is mine to do” and practice listening to that voice; it is your own personal Owner’s Manual housing the “directions” to properly care for this particular “House of God” in which you reside.
Reading: We will read the book, Character Building Day by Day by Anne Mather and Louise Weldon, and discuss why it is important to eat healthy foods and to keep our space clean as a way to nurture ourselves. We will discuss other ways we can nurture ourselves, such as meditating and exercising, all of which expands our love of self and others.
Activity: We will do a Science activity where a paper stays dry in a glass and bucket of water as a symbol to turn within and know the Truth about ourselves, and surround ourselves with that good energy so we remain unaffected by “negative” things in the world of form. We will play a game of Octopus where we get positive encouragement from teammates while we are surrounded by “tagging tentacles”. Love sees us through! We will complete our “Be Big For God” Mandala, Part 4.
Advanced Material Tween/Teen: We will discuss ways that we have expanded ourselves recently and “amplified” or spoken up for who we are. We will experience amplification, being “loud and proud” about what we’ve learned this month regarding insight, challenging appearances and understanding. We will look over photos and what spiritual truth it represents. We will amplify our mandala by adding bling and share our finished product with the younger group, practicing our empathy skills and encouraging others to describe how they feel about their experience.
Affirmation: The love I have for myself and others expands the more I see God in everyone.