Claiming Our Truth, Jennifer Gates, Youth and Family Ministry Director
“Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. To everyone who conquers, I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give a white stone, and on the white stone is written a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.” – Revelations 2:17
Last week in Youth Ministry, we focused on our Power of Release, including the act of forgiveness, as we let go of thoughts, emotions, beliefs and feelings which we do not want to carry into the new year. This week, to build upon the opening of space from last week, we are offering the White Stone Ceremony. We have released the past and are now ready to fill the spaces we opened up inside left by those things we released and surrendered. We celebrate the Presence of God within us who guides us to love ourselves for who we were created to be—based only in love.
As we have learned, we can’t hold things tightly in our grasp, and at the same time reach out and take something new. We must release the things we no longer need or have room for. A good way for children, teens, and families to think about this is to remember a time when you have cleaned out your closet or your room. Or maybe you have gathered toys or games or clothing you have outgrown and donated them to a charity or to a younger friend or family member. By clearing out the things that are no longer a good fit in your life, you will now have room for new things that you need or that help you to achieve growth or follow new pathways.
Adult Volunteers will share information about the history of the white stone in the Roman Empire as well as in the Bible. Discussion will involve our ability to tune in to the presence of God and to hear the truth inside of us.
Children and teens will expand upon last week’s lesson of release and forgiveness. We will discuss how our ability to let go of things, thoughts, ideas that no longer serve us allow room for the new and the good that is ours in the coming year. Through discussion and meditation each child and teen will discern their new name, for their white stone.
Principle #2: Our essence is of God; therefore, we are inherently good.
Principle #4: Through prayer, meditation & affirmations, we align ourselves with God.
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