Youth Ministry: A Season for NonViolence – Week Two: Heart-Based Courage
Featuring Peace Hero, Rosa Parks
I am living as Courage
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) Theresa, Jesus, and others who directly influenced the work of these individuals.
Last week, we learned a little about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his “I Have a Dream” speech. His work serves as a reminder and inspiration to all who have followed. But have you ever wondered where his inspiration came from? One person who inspired Dr. King’s vision and work was Rosa Parks. In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to obey a bus driver’s order to give up her seat for a white passenger. Her act became an important symbol of the Civil Rights movement and inspired the Montgomery Bus Boycott led by Dr. King. This week, during our Sunday School hour, children and teens will be exploring the idea of courage and bravery – what it means to stand up for what you feel is right, what it means to act from the heart, what it means to act in the face of fear.
The word courage comes from the French word for heart. Courage is the ability to do what is in your heart. The question we need to ask ourselves is: do we have it in our hearts to be nonviolent in the face of violence? To practice nonviolence, we must learn to master our anger and emotions. Those who practice nonviolence look at injustice or cruelty and think: it is POSSIBLE for this situation to be different; it is POSSIBLE to bring about peaceful change!
Learning objective for children/teens: to identify what the word courage means to them; to recall or notice examples of courage in their own lives and in the world around them; to personalize ways in which they are practicing or can begin to practice bravery
Principle #2: I am naturally good because God’s Divinity is in me and in everyone.
Principle #3: I create my experience by what I choose to think and what I feel and believe.
Principle #5: Every day I do my best, I give my best, and I make a difference in the world.
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, as always, volunteers for our Youth Ministry team are welcomed with open arms!