Showing posts with label Quakers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Quakers. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

First Day School: Peace Testimony

We had Meeting on Sunday and the Lone Star Baby and I had First Day School.  We are still studying the Peace Testimony in the context of WWII.  We finished talking about Number The Stars and non-fighting ways to be brave, and talked some about Anne Frank.  We started talking about the internment camps for Japanese-Americans during the war and read Baseball Saved Us and discussed how much easier it is for people to hurt each other when they slip into "us" and "them" thinking.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

About this Religious Freedom Thing, SCOTUS...

So...Hobby Lobby does not have to comply with federal laws mandating that the health insurance plans they offer include contraception because they believe the contraceptives are abortifacients, even though science shows that they clearly are no such thing, but merely drugs that prevent pregnancy.

That means that I, a fervent Quaker,  no longer have to pay to support real wars and acts of violence committed by the government, right? Right?

Are you sure you want to go there, SCOTUS?

Monday, June 02, 2014

First Day School: More Peace Testimony/Thinking About Future Lessons

Yesterday, only my little one and I were at Meeting and we continued our study of the Peace Testimony.  We are, due to our poor attendance, still reading Number the Stars, although we are almost finished and, since she is my only pupil at present, we took it home and should finish it today.  Then we will talk atom bomb, internment camps and Cold War, as she needs a little more history of these events and how they interacted with people's testimonies for peace.

Last week, after hearing her older sister sister talk about a research project she did on Jainism back in 5th grade, and my adolescent flirtations with a Jain diet, the Lone Star Baby started looking up Jainism on the internet and comparing and contrasting its belief system with her own.  It made me proud to see her seeking.  We really must complete our study of the Testimonies by the end of this next school year, so that we can begin the Neighboring Faiths curriculum I have borrowed from the Unitarians, which the Lone Star Girl got so much out of, when she is a Junior Young Friend in 6th grade.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

First Day School: Peace

Today was the first time in awhile that we have met for First Day School.  We are still learning about historical wars in our study of the Peace Testimony, still reading Number the Stars.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

First Day School: Peace Studies

Some months back, but since the last time I have posted about First Day School, I was teaching the Lone Star Baby a Peace Testimony lesson involving The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss.  As we discussed it, I realized that she did not really possess the historical context needed to get everything I wanted her to get out of the story (although she understood the point).  She was not really familiar with the Cold War and although she knew a bit about the horrors of the Holocaust, it was pretty sketchy.   I decided we needed to back up, do some history on U.S. and World Wars/conflicts/policies of response and spend longer on the Peace Testimony as it applies to them, and then to everything.

Since then, we have talked about the Holocaust more and about non-violent responses to the Nazis.  We read The Yellow Star, which is just a legend, but a good legend to use as a starting point for discussion. On the same trail, we are now reading Number The Stars.  We have missed a lot of Meeting this summer what with all the health issues drama and all, and with all of us settling back into routines, so we have not gotten very far yet.  Today, we met though and continued with Number The Stars. 

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

First Day School: More Peace Testimony

On Sunday, the Lone Star Baby and I continued our study of the Peace Testimony in First Day School.  We read Seven Brave Women by Betsy Hearne and discussed ways that people are brave that do not have to do with fighting or war.  We pondered some queries on the theme of peace.  We reviewed our SPICES work.  It was very nice.  We have the best conversations at First Day School.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

First Day School: Peace Testimony And The Zax

Girl Scout cookie booth sales kept me from Meeting during all of February.  I am not proud of this, but the reality of scheduling things that numerous people must attend is what it is and our Meeting does meet only twice a month, Sunday afternoons, while most people go to church in the morning, a fact I generally really appreciate, but no system is perfect.

The Lone Star Baby and I were very happy to return today.  There were, including us, eight people at Meeting today.  I think that may be a four-year record.  After Meeting for Worship, we even had a very nice little Meeting for Business and drafted our State of the Meeting report - so nice.

In First Day School, we reviewed our SPICES overview lesson and moved on to start studying the Peace Testimony.   We read The Zax by Dr. Suess and Cain and Abel: Finding The Fruits of Peace by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso and pondered some queries about the stories and about peace.

I feel so close to the Lone Star Baby when we are at First Day School.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Meeting Baby

On the way to meeting today, the Lone Star Baby asked this:

"So, if only one other person is there, we will stay in Meeting so they won't be lonely, but if more than one other person comes, we will go have First Day School, right?"

I said that sounded like a plan and asked what she thought.  

She said she thought it was a good plan for "all the days".  

Only one other person, our clerk, came, so we stayed in Meeting for Worship.  The Lone Star Baby squirmed a little, but she was so, so good.  I love seeing her grow in the Spirit.


Sunday, October 07, 2012

First Day School: Simplicity Testimony

Today was Meeting and the Lone Star Baby and I had First Day School.  This day being full of lovely cool weather in the sixties, we walked to and from Meeting playing acronym games, at the Lone Star Baby's request. It was very nice.  

We've had some general lessons about our Quaker SPICES recently  and have more recently begun working on the Simplicity Testimony.  Today we continued our reading of the Quaker children's classic, Thee, Hannah!, and had a lovely discussion about what we were reading and about simplicity and clothing on the way home.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

First Day School: Simplicity Testimony

Today, we started on the simplicity testimony in First Day School.  First, I had the Lone Star Baby do the SPICES work from last time, a sorting activity,  as a review.  Then, we talked more about simplicity and thought about some queries on simplicity.  We read Just Plain Fancy and discussed it, learned the Shaker Song and started reading Thee, Hannah.

('Tis a gift.)

Sunday, August 05, 2012

First Day School: Quaker SPICES

Today at First Day School, we started our SPICES "unit" on Quaker testimonies in our Little Friends/Lower El "class". 

I read about and discussed the testimonies (simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, stewardship) with the Lone Star Baby and we went over some queries about each one.  I explained how "stewardship" seems only to be discussed separately from "simplicity" in recent years and how I pretty much think of them together but how they can be looked at distinctly.

Then, the Lone Star Baby laid out cards on a tray - each of the testimonies had a card with its name printed on it, and a title card to go above them that said "SPICES:  Quaker Testimonies".  She then opened a spice jar and emptied it of the small objects and pictures inside.  The objects and pictures stood for or were part of different testimonies:  a mirror, a picture of a hat, a picture of clasped hands of different colors, a placard with the word "lying" crossed out, a tiny "votes for women" placard, a little frog, a picture of a neighborhood, a list of service possibilities like food and clothing drives, a little turtle, a little dove, a picture of a camel and the eye of a needle, a little peace sign, a tiny clothespin doll in Quaker greys. The Lone Star Baby placed the objects and pictures under the testimony they matched, discussing and getting some assistance from me.  Then, she did it over again by herself.  

I encouraged her to think about the testimonies in the weeks ahead, and we re-joined Meeting for Worship.

Next, I hope for us to have two to four lessons on each of the testimonies during this school year, starting with simplicity. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

First Day School: George Fox's Big Adventure

Today, we returned to Meeting and First Day School.  If I looked, I bet I would find a whole lot of posts wherein I wrote about how we had been really bad about keeping up with First Day School/Meeting and were going to do better.  To some extent, my lifestyle is overwhelming enough that I really never meet the standards I would like to meet for anything in my life, ever, and I admit that it is easier to let First Day School go now that we are back to just my own kids in the Meeting - I do better when other families are also relying on me.  This past year, particularly, though, there have tough issues that have drained us and I have had to pull back in almost every area of busyness. 

That said, I am ready to be better about First Day School.  I have materials on hand and over a year of lessons planned out - I am ready.

Today's lesson was about George Fox's search for spirituality and what he found.  I used Faith 'N' Play materials for it and followed those with some listening-for-God silent worship practice and art.

The rest of the year (year = school year to me), for my Little Friends/Lower El "class"  will mostly be devoted to Quaker testimonies, then we will head into some Faith and Practice lessons and some lessons in the style of Godly Play that the child was too young for when we took on the parables (Isaiah, the Parables game, etc.).  The Young Friend and I will continue our study of world religions, when she returns form all her summer traveling.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

First Day School: Fundamentalism and Listening For God

We are back to work at First Day School in earnest.  Since we had such a long hiatus prior to our Christmas lesson, today we reviewed our last (way) pre-Christmas lessons on Fundamentalism and Listening For God.  

My Young Friends "class" (just my teen) talked about the key beliefs of Christian Fundamentalists, in their absolutism, and started a review of Sinners In The Hands of An Angry God.  We will continue this lesson next time and then move into our next lesson on "absolutists" - cults. 

My Little Friends/Lower El "class" (just my second-grader) reviewed our "Listening For God" lesson in the style of and using materials from Faith 'n' Play.  The Lone Star Baby says that she hears God in the ocean - me, too, although God feels like Mother to me there. 

The girls' dad then picked them up and I stayed with the adults of our Meeting for a very nice Meeting for Business in which we agreed on our State of The Meeting report.  Lovely.

Monday, December 19, 2011

First Day School: The Glorious Impossible

Although I have gone to Meeting by myself with the other adults a few times in the interim, yesterday was the first time I've held First Day School for our youngest Quaker since some hardships sort of floored me in the summertime, experiences I've been very slowly recovering from ever since.  

I am sure I would have forced myself to get with the program sooner had the Meeting had children other than my own to worry about, but my kids are the only ones and most of our tiny band of members and attenders have had a rough year, so my lapse was not all that remarkable, except for it being mine-  as I am certainly the member with the vested interest in First Day School.  And I am not proud of neglecting the religious education of my children for two seasons, or of falling down in my commitment to fellowship with my Meeting, but...we all have to treat ourselves as gently as we can during hard times and I, as well as other members, have needed lots of rest.

Now we are pulling things back together.  I managed to do the Glorious Impossible lesson for my "little Friends/Lower El Class" of one yesterday and it was so nice.  Being there always reminds me of all that I love about First Day School.  I also love the fact that that particular lesson points out that angels are messengers of God and they are scary.  So I have always felt since the first words out of their mouths are always "Fear not!"

I aim to be a better Quaker parent as the rest of the year unfurls.  I'm still going to be gentle with myself, though.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

First Day School: Friends' Meeting For Worship

The Little Friends/Lower El lesson today was on Friends' Meeting for Worship, using some materials from Faith "N" Play.  I love the "deep calls to deep" text - thank you, Philadelphia.  The Lone Star Baby drew a lovely picture of flowers leaning into a blowing wind to show how the Presence of God feels to her.

First Day School: Fundamentalism/Cults

Today's teen First Day School lesson was about absolutes - fundamentalism and cults. We have just begun the unit but it already sparked some very interesting discussions about the best definitions of the words religion, sect and cult and about the most common aspects of fundamentalism and about some of the dangerous cults that have abused children in Texas in the past few decades.  More next time!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

First Day School: Listening For God

After a rather long hiatus from First Day School due to scheduling issues, exhaustion and the need for me to spend some Meetings with the Meeting, our Lower El "class" (my six-year-old) finally met again today (the teen was still busy - the Young Friends "class" resumes in June).  Having finished a couple of years of parables and other New Testament and Old Testament-based lessons, we have been starting on a year or so of Quaker Faith & Practice-based lessons.  Today's lesson was about Listening For God.  We walked the Labyrinth they have at the church where we meet and Listened for God and we had a lesson based on/in the style of the Faith 'n' Play Listening For God lesson, which was very nice - like a return to those wonderful parables almost.  We included some meditative labyrinth art and the story God In Between by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso.  I will reinforce the lesson sometime in the next two weeks with a reading and discussion of Horton Hears A Who as well (I am also interweaving a curriculum of Dr. Suess books with a variety of other materials).

It was so nice. For me and her.  We need to not go so long between lessons again.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

First Day School: African-American Churches & That of God

Today was our first day at First Day School in awhile, and we were the only ones who showed up for Meeting!

The Young Friends "class" (my teen) was studying African American Baptist and AME churches and the intersection of faith and culture.  We also talked about Islam among African Americans and the importance of churches (and the SCLC) to the civil rights movement.  This was a good  segue into Black History Month coming up.  I think we will be re-visiting some good movies about the civil rights movement and race relations in the U.S. in the coming weeks.

The Little Friends and Lower El "class" (my six-year-old) summed up our last couple of years of study of the parables and Bible stories with a reminder that all those lessons were about the Presence of God and our belief that there is that of God in everyone.  We talked about how our coming lessons will go more into Quaker practices and testimonies.

I know I need to have the Meeting over for a meal soon, as we are too scattered, but things have been so hectic lately.  And cold.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

First Day School: The Glorious Impossible

Today the Lone Star Baby and I had our Christmas lesson in First Day School, with materials based on the L'Engle story.  It was just us and another Friend at Meeting and my little girl was so settled into the silence that we almost didn't leave to have First Day School at all.  She is a very deep little vibration in our Meeting, this one is.  I don't think anyone knows it yet but me.

Monday, November 15, 2010

First Day School: Service, The Ten Best Ways and The Books of The Bible

On Sunday at First Day School, the Lone Star Girl was learning about the religions in our unit on faiths with an an ethic of service - Friends, Humanists and Unitarian Universalists, specifically.  We are about finished (we never finish learning about Friends, of course, but finished with the unit) except for the field trip.  We haven't, in our busy-ness, been very good about keeping up with field trips but the Girl is very interested in Unitarians so we will be sure to be better about visiting this time.

The Lone Star Baby had her lesson on the Ten Commandments and a brief lesson on the Bible and the different kinds of books in the Bible and where the stories we had been studying in the Old Testament and the New Testament were found.  It was nice - she got to use her mad reference skillz.

This pretty much finishes our use of the Godly Play materials for awhile, except for repeats, in our lessons.  We've done the parables from the New Testament, as well as the Christmas and Easter-related lessons that interest me.  We've done the Old Testament stories that I found appropriate.  There are a couple of  good parable synthesis and otherwise New Testament related lessons that the Lone Star Baby is not old enough for yet  and that I will probably introduce when she is eight or nine, if the means are still available, but that's it for now. 

I intend to repeat a lesson using the Advent materials and a lesson using the Christmas materials over the Christmas season probably,  but then we will be moving on.  We are going to spend most of 2011 on Quaker Testimonies and practices, utilizing some Faith-n-Play materials I will make as well as some other materials I am drawing in.