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VBS 2024 - Day 5

Today we learned that Compassion Walks Together with Others! Walking together with others means we are not alone in our life and faith journey. We are part of a global faith family transcending time and place. Many faith siblings have shared God’s love to humankind and all creation throughout time. We read Romans 16 as a celebration of some of these ancestors—of the people who came before us and lived out compassion in the Christian community of the first century. We are in this ancient stream of people who have chosen compassion. How might we continue to share compassion in the future?


We practiced all the different versions of our Lovingkindness chant:

I see your hurt. I feel your hurt. I help ease your hurt.

I hear your hurt. I feel your hurt. I help ease your hurt.

You see my hurt. You feel my hurt. You help ease my hurt.

God sees my hurt. God feels my hurt. God helps ease my hurt.

I see my neighbor's hurt. I feel my neighbor's hurt. I help ease my neighbor's hurt.


We learned Along the Way and sang The Lovingkindness Song again today!


Lovingkindness Practice:

We pay purposeful attention to what it feels like to experience lovingkindness and to share it.


Focus on what we hope for ourselves. Say these phrases and feel the powerful feelings of lovingkindness for yourself without any judgement.


May I be happy.

May I be healthy.

May I be safe.

May I be at peace.

repeat 3 times


Next, think about your faith community, including church friends and leaders. Imagine these people in your mind and say these phrases to them.


May we be happy.

May we be healthy.

May we be safe.

May we be at peace.

repeat 3 times


End by saying: May you and I be happy. May you and I be healthy. May you and I be safe. May you and I be at peace.


Questions:

What feelings did you notice as you practiced lovingkindness ?

Was it easy or difficult to practice lovingkindness?

What was easy about it? What was hard about it?


Children’s Picture Book Recommendations

  • God’s Big Plan, Elizabeth Caldwell and Theodore Hiebert

  • For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in A Better World, Michael W. Waters

  • Grandad’s Camper, Harry Woodgate

  • Equality’s Call: The Story of Voting Rights in America, Deborah Diesen

  • Walking toward Peace: The True Story of a Brave Woman Called Peace Pilgrim, Kathleen Krull

  • Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World, Susan Hood

  • We Are Water Protectors, Carole Lindstrom


Additional Book Suggestion for youth (and their families) to read together: This Book is Anti-Racist, Tiffany Jewell


Podcast: Poet Maomi Shihab Nye shares her poem Kindness (that connects deeply with lovingkindness) and the backstory of how it came about in Becoming Wise (Episode 25): The Everyday Gift of Writing. https://apple.co/3bueQKJ


For Youth:

Take a Fresh Look: Pay attention to conversations about injustice in your local community.

• What is the context for those discussions?

• Who is present? Who is missing?

• What messages are communicated?

• What opportunities are missed?


Watch this video about a student who speaks up and finds a place for her voice to be heard:


Directly address hurt in your local school. Is there a systemic practice that holds students back from equal opportunities? Are there limitations in place that create a barrier for equitable resource sharing? How do administrators hear student voices? Are students from a variety of backgrounds able to share their experiences with community leaders? Do your research to find out who the key players are in your local school system. Identify student leadership opportunities in your community and encourage your teenager(s) to apply. How

can our compassionate actions help ease the hurt of others?

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