Firstday School Lesson: The Meeting Community

Advices and Queries for 12th Month, Pacific Yearly Meeting: The Meeting Community

1. Song: Pat Humphries, "Swimming to the Other Side"
This was an improvisation by the other grownups when I had some extra preparation for my lesson when we walked in. The students at the Friends School have been learning this, so several of the participants in the class already knew it. Whew!

2. Circle/Silence

3. Introductions and Icebreaker
The person who is speaking will get the Talking Feather. (This is like a Talking Stick. It signifies that the holder is the person who is entitled to talk. It gets passed from person to person around the circle.) Say your name, where you were born, and the name of a family member other than parents, siblings, or children. (We had three adults in the room, all of whom were parents, so that last item was relevant.)

4. Pedagogy: Community
a. Teacher describes roots of the word = "com-" with + "unity" as one. The Religious Society of Friends, also known as Quakers, is one type of community.

b. What are some of the communities you are part of? Stand if the following apply to you:
  • Are a member of a family.
  • Ever been a member of a team.
  • Ever been part of a musical or dance group.
  • Part of humanity.
  • Part of the mammals.
  • Part of the earth. Solar system. Milky Way. Universe.
c. Read two passages from Catherine Whitmire's Practicing Peace: A Devotional Walk through the Quaker Tradition: p. 76, Tom Mullen, "Oh God, help us not to cry over spilt milk"; p. 83, Deborah Fisch (quoting a Friend from SF about redwood trees)
Point: One of the places we find God and the Spirit of God is in community – a group of people together

5. Light and Livelies: These are fun group exercises conducted during Alternatives to Violence Project workshops. We did about three: the rain is coming down; "I love you honey, but I just can't smile"; and vampire frogger.

This was very good for the boy energy in the room; we had one girl and six boys (three pairs of brothers, in fact). The girl had fun, too, though!

6. Affirmation: Sing first verse and chorus of "Simple Gifts" (partly because one child asked for it!) Closing silent worship. Thanks for being here, and help me move the table back to the center of the room and distribute the chairs around it.

Update 12/15: added tags.

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