Lesson on Leadings and Callings

I taught a lesson last week on leadings and callings. The source material was Samuel's calling by God, which he mistook for the voice of Eli (1 Sam. 3:1-14), and the December 2006 Friends Bulletin article about Rolene Walker's Walk With Earth.

(To reinforce the lesson for me, this past week, Open Mikey wrote about midnight calls, such as the one Samuel received: click here.)

I use the mnemonic formula "IOSRA: In Our School Results Appear," to plan lessons. The initials stand for: Introductions, Objectives, Strategies (what we will do to achieve our objectives), Results, and Affirmation.

Introductions: How was your New Year's? Did you stay up for New Year's Eve, or do anything special on New Year's Day?

Objective: Our objective this morning is to learn about leadings and callings from God, what they are, what they might look, feel or sound like, and how some Quakers have had leadings.

Strategy: The group read the Bible passage and the Friends Bulletin article aloud, taking turns. Then I asked if they wanted to act out the Bible story of Samuel's call. The girl (there was one boy and one girl) said yes, she wanted to do that. She wanted to be the narrator and God. I was Eli, lying on the floor pretending to be asleep, and Older Son was Samuel (looking longingly at the whiteboard, where he would have loved to be drawing dragons right then).

The girl asked if we could perform it as a play downstairs for the grownups. I said, of course. So we did it a few more times, rotating the cast.

We had a lovely conversation about Rolene's walk, and about all the terrible potential environmental problems in the world. This showed the truth of Rolene's point in the article that many children know a lot abstractly about the environment's problems; we as adults have to make sure that they see the beauty and power of nature, and experience why we need to save it, not just learn about the problems and risk despair. Well, these two kids know plenty about carbon emissions, sea level rise, and the threat to polar bears, and about the importance of recycling and composting (San Francisco has curbside composting which is SO GREAT!). I want to make sure they notice sunsets and moonrises and raptors soaring and warblers flitting and so on and so forth.

We also talked about how Rolene had felt this sense of calling and leading for many years, and now her life is arranging itself to make it possible for her to go from San Diego to Santiago, Chile. It helped that a few weeks earlier, I had done a lesson with the same two children where we drew outlines of the continents on a big sheet of paper, and illustrated it a bit with drawings, and Older Son drew the approximate line of Rolene's walk. (Interestingly, he put Africa and Asia right in the center of the map, so that the Americas-based walk is right at the very edge of the page!)

Results: The result was that the children learned the story of Samuel, learned about how ordinary people can be called to do something by God, and had a great conversation.

Affirmation: The affirmation was that we went downstairs and acted out the Bible story, and the meeting welcomed the children warmly.
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Who are the Quakers in your meeting with a leading or a calling? What can they say to your meeting's children about their own experiences?

1 comment:

Liz Opp said...

Hey, Chris--

It's so cool to read about how the kids want to do something for the adults. In the worship group here, after worship has broken and the adults have had a chance to reflect on worship, sometimes the children come in and put on a skit.

Thus far, with no First Day School in place, the skits have been fun and silly. But recently at a fFriend's birthday party, I enacted (with the help of an advance recording I made) the parable of the lost coin and a few verses about a lamp on its stand. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and a few Friends from the worship group suggested that something like that be done with the kids.

My thoughts exactly! ...I'm beginning to wonder what it will look like to re-enact Margaret Fell's words, "Thieves, thieves! We are all thieves!...." or good' ol' George's, "...and then o then my heart did leap for joy!"

Liz Opp, The Good Raised Up