Youth Ministry: A Season for NonViolence Week Eight: Finding Peace Within – Peace Hero: Ourselves
I am peaceful. I know how to find peace inside myself. I am a peacemaker.
A Season of NonViolence is an international movement dedicated to demonstrating that nonviolence is a powerful way to heal, transform, and empower our lives and our communities. It is observed annually during the 64-days between the assassination anniversaries of peacemakers Mahatma Gandhi, on January 30 and Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4. The celebration of Season of NonViolence began in 1997 and is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. During this 10-week period, we will be learning about the lives of four peace heroes: Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, St. (Mother) Teresa, Jesus, and others who directly influenced the work of these individuals.
Over the past seven weeks in Youth Ministry we have explored the ideas of Dreaming, Courage, Gratitude, Service, Listening, Forgiveness, and Kindness. This week, we are continuing on this path of understanding what it means to be a peacemaker in the world as we talk about Peace in the Midst of Conflict.
This week, in our Youth Ministry classrooms, our adult volunteers will support our children and teens in their exploration of how each of us can be a peacemaker in our own lives and in the world around us. By discussing personal examples in our daily lives, we will work towards understanding what conflict means and what it feels like to experience it. We will define some methods that can be used to create a more peaceful personal life – Affirmative Prayer, Meditation, and Breathing. As appropriate for their age group, adult volunteers will lead our children and teens through either a breathing or meditation exercise as an example of putting one of these methods to use in our daily lives.
We will close out our time together with some creativity as we continue working on our outreach project for the residents of Pecan Hill. Children and teens will have time at the end of class to create handmade Easter cards, and our adult volunteers will remind them that the outreach project is a way of ministering to our larger community and spreading a message of peace, love & positivity.
Learning objective for children/teens: Children and teens will be able to identify what it feels like to be at peace; they will explore methods of accessing this peaceful feeling and will reinforce ideas that they already employ.
Unity Principles for this week, Principle #4:
Through prayer and meditation we access the peace within.
As always, I invite each of you to join us in our classroom on a Sunday morning. You may just find that your spiritual life is enriched by the lessons we are sharing. And, remember, volunteers for our Youth Ministry team are welcomed with open arms! Call me to learn more about supporting this important area of our ministry!
Special Note: Our UniTeen and YOU classes are planning an outreach project during the Easter season for our friends at Pecan Hill. Many of you may be familiar with our Christmas Sharing Party which we host each year on the Pecan Hill campus, just down the street from UCSA on Lawndale. Pecan Hill is small senior living facility for residents 62+ who are living on a fixed income. Our outreach to these neighbors is one of the many ways we live our core values of Joy, Abundance, Love, Transformation, and Inclusiveness. New this year, our children and teens will be crafting homemade Easter cards for the residents of Pecan Hill. I am moved by the compassion and enthusiasm of our youth ministry participants! When you see our children and teens around UCSA, feel free to show your gratitude for their hearts of service as well!