Onward into the new year and new opportunities to learn and grow together in our Yearly Meeting in 2023! Two of those opportunities focus on intergenerational worship and Bible study. We have so much to learn from one another in our approaches to these topics, and the PYM “Worship & Care Package” is one way we will explore new possibilities together. Friends who support religious education in our meetings are a community of practice; let’s consider about how we might accompany one another in the next year, sharing the ways that children, young people, and their families are part of our meeting communities.
From the Quaker Religious Education Collaborative, a story that explores, Do Our Children Know Enough About Quakerism to Play Quaker? A wonderful example of play-based learning with a doll house: “Along the way, we have explored elements of our meeting life: welcoming a stranger, accepting difference, being patterns and examples and witnessing, vigiling for racial justice, traveling in the ministry, offering pastoral care, and more.”
The Wondering Together Project
One to share with families in your meeting! A simple guide to a simple practice of daily reflection using the same five wondering questions. Like the spiritual practice of daily Examen, the questions encourage slowing down and practicing reflection and gratitude. The image shown here can be downloaded from the website and printed. The project was created by Sally Thomas, a Godly Play trainer in Maine, and the website invites feedback from families about how the practice is working for them.
A Song for the Unsung is a wonderful new picture book about Bayard Rustin for all ages, including younger children. It’s also a book to sing your way through — every page suggests a song related to Rustin’s experiences and the movements for peace and justice he worked for.
Also from QuakerBooks:
- Troublemaker for Justice: The Story of Bayard Rustin, the Man Behind the March on Washington (13-18 year olds)
- Holy Troublemakers & Unconventional Saints (chapters on Friends Rustin and Alice Paul; ages 8 and up)
Winter Events for Friends & Families
January 7, 2-6pm at West Chester Meeting (in person): Religious Education and Outreach Thread Gathering bringing together two areas of focus to explore the connection between religious education programs and how a meeting welcomes and includes newcomers. If RE and outreach work hand in hand, what might grow?
Please share these events below with families in your meeting!
- Quaker Parent Postlude — continuing in 2023! 9:00pm on 3rd Sundays of the month, Quaker Parent Postlude is a space for people who are currently engaged in bringing up children to come together for worship, reflection, and connection.
- Youth Trip to Washington, D.C. — What does our history mean for us today? Lancaster Meeting Youth and PYM Youth Programs are collaborating for a weekend in Washington, D.C. to explore this query in community together! Youth in Grades 7-12 should register by January 20!
- February 4-5, Winter Family Overnight! — Friends, fun, food, and a fire! Hot chocolate, stories, and games! It’s Winter Family Overnight at Camp Onas! This year, the event is open to all Families with children in 6th grade and younger. Registration is open!
Anti-Racism Learning & Action
For middle/high school: The Zinn Education Project has a lot of great resources, including free teaching guides for a new documentary, The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks, which sheds light on a story we might think we know — not just a one-time event sitting on a bus, Rosa Parks’ extensive organizing, radical politics, and lifelong dedication to justice.
February is Black History Month, and while we can include these resources all year, a reminder that on the PYM website there is a section on Racial Justice Curricula and Resources which includes articles, curricula, children’s books, and other resources for families and adults working with children. Topics include how to talk to Children of Color and white children about racism and racial justice.
Embrace Race has a wonderful booklist entitled: “Children’s books featuring kids of color being themselves. That’s enough!” that makes the point that children need books that show everyday BIPOC children and families, not only stories of overcoming oppression and injustice. One of my favorites is on the list — Everywhere Babies — which I send to families when we learn about a new baby in our PYM family!
Interested in receiving this information and more in an email format for sharing? Subscribe to “Religious Education” to receive The Tote Bag: PYM Religious Education and Family Resources 4-6 times a year. The Tote Bag is for everyone in our Quaker community who holds space for the spiritual growth of children and youth, including parents, caregivers and guardians, religious education committees and youth workers, and Friends interested in supporting children and families.
Friends are welcome to submit ideas for topics of interest, lift up resources to include, or send a question they would like addressed!
Featured images from Pixabay.com, iStock, and the author.