A few years ago, my meeting’s RE committee planned to focus on one of the Friends testimonies each month, and found we got stuck (in a good way!) on peace. We ended up creating a year-long program that started with peace in ourselves and moved outward each month in circles of expanding communities: exploring peace in our homes, meeting, neighborhoods, and the world.
Entering 2022, we are in a time of continued (or renewed) anxiety, and each of the books shown below explores one or more of those “circles of peace” we used in that meeting curriculum — from finding peace within ourselves to witnessing for peace in a world full of conflicts.
The Worship Kit, John Lampen, and is written with accessible language and guidance for children to explore their feelings with simple practices. It’s a gem! PYM has ordered copies from the author, which I look forward to sharing with meetings! With concerns about the Omicron variant, I have heard from meetings (including my own) who are navigating this with moving RE programs online in January and renewing safety measures for hybrid and in-person gathering. Remember there is a resource with suggested safety practices for religious education programs in indoor spaces on the PYM website that may be useful as we shift our plans again — and hopefully return to being fully together soon!A special note: Peaceful Inside is from the author of
Be well, Friends. In peace,
Melinda Wenner Bradleymwennerbradley@pym.orgYouth Religious Life Coordinator
Peace Talk Poster Giveaway
This lovely linoleum block print poster by Quaker artist Meredith Stern is based on the work of the Quaker Parenting Initiative shared in their book, Paths to Quaker Parenting. It would look great on the wall at your meeting! Meredith found the “Peace Talk” practice relevant for her family and created this art to share! You can see more of her work at the arts cooperative Just Seeds. Want a copy? Contact the Youth Religious Life Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Books for Quaker Families and Educators
Anti-racism Learning and Action
We lost a powerful voice for justice and advocate for children with the passing of author, teacher, and activist bell hooks last month. She also wrote children’s books: Skin Again and Be Boy Buzz have great read-alouds on YouTube.
February is Black History Month! We can celebrate and remember Black History this month and all year with resources like the Black Lives Matter Instructional Library. Compiled by Pheobe Defino, it’s an excellent collection of children’s racial justice books all in read-aloud format including a section focusing on Black History. Other parts of the collection: Activism and Advocacy, Self-love and Empowerment, and Libros en Espanol.
Upcoming Online Events from the Quaker Parenting Initiative
Two online programs for parents, sponsored by the Quaker Parenting Initiative, encourage parents to reflect on their lives and work as parents. Please share these opportunities with parents in your meeting and among Friends!
The Testimonies as Directives for Living With Our Children
January 18-March 8, 2022
Discussions over seven weeks focus on each of the Quaker testimonies as guides to parenting and family living. With facilitators Harriet Heath and Emma Richter.
Searching to Better Nurture and Guide Children
Wednesdays in March 2022
This five-week series will introduce a series of queries that can help parents discern how they want to deal with issues that come up in family life. These issues can vary from toddler sleep and teen choices, to family decision making. With facilitators Gretchen Baker-Smith and Harriet Heath.