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Unity

Unity

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
UNITED IN CHRIST

Joy Session (grades 3 through 6)

OBJECTIVE: To help the participants understand that through the body of Christ, the Church, we are all united with Christ and to each other. This unity in Christ will help us stand strong as Orthodox Christians struggling with these difficulties.

MATERIALS NEEDED:


4 Sticks per child. If possible, have the participants find sticks from the grounds of the Church.
Butcher Paper
Bibles
Markers
Unity Sticks (see wrap up)

OPENING PRAYER:

Save O Lord, Your people, and bless Your inheritance. Grant victory to Your faithful against the adversaries of the Faith. And protect Your people, by Your Cross.

DISCUSSION: (keep answers simple and factual. Allow youth to answer and reflect back)

STATE: This is a scary time for our country and we are going to talk today about some of the things that have happened these past weeks and how that is making us feel. (If you can have a counselor present during this discussion, say the following Mrs. Counselor is here to help us, if it becomes too hard for you to stay with us she can talk with you and she can also talk with you when we are all done) As you know, on September 11, many people died due to terrorism. Terrorism is a word that you have all been hearing a lot lately.

• Can any of you tell me what terrorism is?

(Terrorism is when violence is committed against unsuspecting people and countries by a person or group of people that believe their cause is more important than human life or property. Sometimes these people feel what they believe is so right that they are willing to give up their own life for it).

• What do terrorist look like?

(Terrorist can be big, small, black white, American or foreigner).

• On September 11th, a group of terrorist attacked the United States by flying 2 planes into the world trade center causing them to collapse. Does anyone know what the world trade center is?

(The world trade center is 2 very tall towers in New York City. There were many businesses located in these buildings that effect things throughout the whole country and the world).

Another plane into flew into the Pentagon.

• Can anyone tell me what the Pentagon is?

(The Pentagon is located in Washington DC it is one of the places where people work who protect this country. A fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania no one is really sure where that one was going)
.

These events have cause many fears and questions in both adults and young people like you. We are going to talk about some of these fears now.

• Can you name some things that you worry about because of this happening? (chart all answer on paper in the front of the room)

STATE: We will come back and discuss what to do about these fears a little later.

ACTIVITY: United We Stand

Take the children outside. Ask them to find 4 sticks each

(it would probably be a good idea to mention that when they find them they are to be careful with them and not wave them around or play with them because someone could get hurt)


Have them sit in a circle on the floor and place the sticks in front of them.

Ask them: “If I ask you to, do you think you can break your stick in half?”

(Most of them will probably answer yes, unless they have a particularly thick stick. Ask them to do this; most will succeed)
.

If they don’t all succeed,

Ask: “Why didn’t this one break?” “Do you know someone who might be able to break this?” (perhaps an older sibling, parent, etc.)

Have them get with the person directly to their right.

Ask them: “If I ask you to put your sticks together, do you think you can break them?”

(Some will answer yes some no. Ask them to do this; some will succeed and some will not)
.

Ask them: “Why didn’t these break?”

“Do you know someone who might be able to break this?”

(perhaps an older sibling, parent, etc.)


Then have the groups of 2 get with another group of 2 next to them.

Ask them: “If I ask you to put all of your sticks together, do you thing you can break them?”

(Most will answer no. Ask them to do this; most will not be successful)
.

Ask them: “Why didn’t these break?”

“Do you know someone who might be able to break this?”

(perhaps an older sibling, parent, etc.)


Have them all get back in the circle. Have everyone pass in their last stick. Tie them all together.

Ask them:
“Do they think these sticks can be broken?”

(The answer should be no)
.


DISCUSSION

QUESTIONS:


• Was it easier to break the one stick or the four sticks?

• Why were we not able to break the sticks when they were together?

(Because when all of the sticks were put together, they were to strong)

EXPLAIN TO THE GROUP:

There is no such thing as an individual Christian. Through our Baptism, we are united with Jesus Christ and His Church. Jesus’ Church is made up of the people who fill His Church.

When we try to do things in this life alone, we often fail. But when we have Jesus and His followers (those present), on our side working with us, nothing is impossible. Through this unity of the Church, we gain strength and can overcome any difficulty set before us. Remember, Jesus will not give us anything we can’t handle. Some ways we can begin to heal are through prayer, not being selfish, helping those in need, loving all people, etc.

CLOSING ACTIVITY AND WRAP-UP:

Break the Children into Groups of 3 or 4. Each group should have an adult advisor with them. (Make sure that all of the advisors have properly prepared to guide these groups) Give them a large piece of butcher paper, markers and a bible. Split the list of fears made earlier amongst the groups. Have them draw or write on the butcher paper the different fears and how as United Christians we can overcome them. Have each group present their ideas to the whole group. Hang them in your church hall or Sunday School Building

CLOSING STATEMENT:

Have someone wrap some short twigs together and tie it with a red, white and blue ribbon. Give it to the young people and tell them it is a reminder that as baptized Orthodox Christians we not only stand with other Orthodox people for strength but with Christ Himself, and that He is with us through this difficult time.

CLOSING PRAYER:


(If at all possible, teach the children this beautiful Hymn from the Great Compline Service)

Lord of the Powers, be with us. For in times of distress, we have no other help but You. Lord of the Powers, have mercy on us.

FAMILY INFORMATION:

Summarize what you did in the session and type up the list of fears and ways to combat them that the children have made e-mail/mail them to parents that day along with other information to help parents further discuss this with their children. See www.goarch.org for further information to give to parents.

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