Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

Children

A Free Faith & Play™ Gift!

The Faith & Play Working Group of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting is pleased to make available at no cost to Friends a new story, An Easter Story for Friends: A story about the power of God’s love.  We hope that the words and images in this story will resonate with Friends, and it will be an addition to the stories you are using in your meeting communities and First Day School programs.  Several new Faith & Play stories are in the works for publication, but we wanted to make this one available for spring 2014.  Materials for this story will

Sparkling Still

Sparklers (1982) is back as Sparkling Still. Updated and re-imagined! You will find everything you need to create lessons for children ages 3 to 8 and build a classroom community. Topics include sense of self, family and community, the natural world, the Bible and Quakerism, worship, celebrations, empowerment, and Quaker testimonies, as well as guidance on hard issues like grief, divorce, extreme weather, violence, and more.

Meeting for Worship in the Classroom

Children have the same need as adults for communion with God, Love, Joy, the Source. Children live from a place of connection--young children don't have boundaries between time for work, time for play, and time to be connected with the Divine. For them, work, play, and worship is all the same thing. This 9-page resource examines how worship can be integrated into the life of a classroom.

Children’s Bibles

QuakerBooks of Friends General Conference carries a number of children’s story Bibles. None of them pretend to be Bibles, per se. Rather, they are severely edited retellings in language appropriate for children. They are quite different, and appropriate for different age levels. In this article I will comment on seven children’s Bibles and provide selections from each so that you can gain a sense of their style, age appropriateness, and approach. We will look at how the different authors treat some of the same passages, such as the creation story in Genesis.

Dealing with Sporadic Attendance in First Day School

The problem of sporadic attendance in First Day School is common to large and small meetings. The number of school, sports, and enrichment activities available to children has expanded leaving them exhausted or otherwise engaged on Sunday mornings. Religious Education Committees have to work hard to creatively find ways to thrive in spite of these cultural pressures. To have a vibrant First Day School, we need to offer well-planned lessons, create opportunities for personal engagement, and work more explicitly at communicating with families and developing our sense of community.

Telling Stories by the Heart for First Day School

Many years ago in Africa, storytellers traveled from village to village sharing myths, gossip, and lessons with the people. Together, they laughed and cried and shared their bond of humanity. Then television came to the region. The television started telling the same stories as the tellers. However, the stories on the television were embellished with magnificent special effects and beautiful or handsome narrators. The people turned to the stories on television. First the young adults, attracted to the hip young narrators, switched to television.

Working with Middle and High School Friends: What Are the Developmental Differences?

Middle school and high school Friends represent two entirely different groups in terms of developmental needs. The former (roughly grades 6th through 8th) are young adolescents entering a stage of rapid and volatile growth driven by raging hormones. As they leave the quiet and protected years of childhood, they begin a transition into adulthood. Yet, these years are marked with awkwardness, confusion, and uncertainty. Fortunately, as high school begins, their bodies adjust to the dramatic physical changes and their emotional roller coaster starts to settle.

Helping Prepare Children and Teenagers for Quaker Worship: Some of My Experiences Leading First Day School

Multiple Friends have expressed concerns in recent years about how many children and young people seem to have trouble making the transition from Young Friend (in First Day School) to Adult Friend (in meeting for worship, committee work, etc. ). I think we need to be intentional about helping them cross over and stop underestimating their capacity for spiritual experience!

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