Middle School Affirmations
Here is the list of what the adults want for kids in FDS:
- To know what Quakers do
- To know about the Bible
- To know what you believe
- To know some Quaker history
- To make friends
- To develop good, strong values
- To want to come to FDS
- To feel part of the meeting community
- Good snacks
- To want to/to be excited to come
- To be able to read what you want
- To know who/where God is
- Fun stuff – games, clay, trust games
- Be more active
- Make things for meeting
We had a monthly service project, serving brunch at the Martin de Porres Hospitality House on the fourth Sunday of each month.
On the day of SF Meeting’s fifth Sunday Extended Meeting for Worship, we held a Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Bicycling. We rode along the Bay Trail and stopped for worship near Coyote Point. It was a gorgeous day and just being outside felt holy to me. One highlight was the brief discussion afterwards where we talked about why riding our bikes felt more worshipful than being on one of the loud electric scooters that went by us.
We had a section on George Fox. Starting during worship-on-the-grounds at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, we read Friend by Jane Yolen. The next couple of weeks we talked about the origins of Quakerism, the role of Quaker journals, and the spread of Quakerism through the world – all tangents that rose up out of our discussion of Fox. And one week we unpacked the George Fox Song and talked about what each line means and why each section is an important truth about Quakerism.
We had another section on what to do in meeting for worship. One week we discussed the effects of meditation on the brain. One week we learned about Lectio Divina as another way of looking at reading in meeting. That week we also had visitors from the 6th & 7th grade class at the local Unitarian Church, and we talked about the differences and similarities of our two groups.
We had a series of discussions about current events – the flap over “the mosque at Ground Zero” was big right when we were starting, so we talked about religious persecution and tolerance, and one of our teachers went to Jordan for a Habitat for Humanity build during this fall and she talked about her trip, and then last week they wrote letters to the President about the war in Afghanistan.
This morning we held an evaluation session. We looked at which of our goals we had achieved and how we might improve the curriculum for another time. The kids said you really couldn’t make it better without it just becoming like camp where you don't learn anything. But they would like to do more trust games and to learn more about modern Quakers. They would like to read something about Quakers that was written by someone who didn’t like the Quakers – what would they say about Quakers? (I think this would be very interesting – if you know of anything like this that’s readily accessible, let me know.)
The thing they liked best was the snacks. It is my personal opinion that middle school religious education is already overcoming enough barriers – a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. These particular kids eat very healthy diets the rest of the week.
However, today was the last day of our group because two thirds of the kids and one of the teachers are moving to South Africa next month. Hence today’s evaluation. We also wrote affirmations for all the members of our group. Here are the affirmations I received:
- Thank you for being willing to teach so we don’t need to go to meeting.
- Thank you for always having a enjoyable lesson planned.
- Thank you for teaching and the donuts.
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