Family Resources for Sunday April 14

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. — Hebrew scripture, Leviticus 19:18

Commonly known as the Golden Rule, the ethic of reciprocity appears in some form in every major religion—Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam—as well as in many other traditions. We can consider the ethic of reciprocity a universal value on which people of diverse faiths can agree. This session explores how it guides us to cooperate, for the good of all.

For Unitarian Universalists, this ethic comes to us both from our Jewish and Christian heritages and from the wisdom of world religions. In the context of this program, children explore the ethic of reciprocity as a guide toward actions that strengthen the beloved community—in our congregations, in our families, and in other communities to which we belong.

This ethic is related to the idea of “radical hospitality” in our congregations. Radical hospitality invites us to welcome not only those to whom we are naturally drawn because of their similarity to ourselves, but also those who seem different from us.

Radical hospitality and the ethic of reciprocity can help us promote justice. When we are truly open to the “other” and welcome them into our beloved communities, we help build a more just society in our congregations and in the world.

The details about Sunday morning:
Babies – 4 year olds

  • Children’s covenant, chalice lighting and joys & concerns
  • Play inside

Kindergarten- Grade 5

What you can do this week at home:
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about… ways you have extended friendship toward someone who seemed very different from yourself, or times when you forged or continued a relationship of some sort with a person who had vastly different (or even opposing) viewpoints. Share some experiences where you found it difficult to be welcoming to someone different (such as someone with opposing political viewpoints); explore what you did to overcome this or what you could do differently if you find yourself in the same situation again.

EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. As a family, reach out in some way to a neighbor, family member, or friend who has a different viewpoint than yours. You might invite them over for dinner to your house, plan a picnic at a park together, bring over a covered dish or dessert to their house or even write a letter of appreciation to them.

Family Discovery. Take some time away to do something together as a family that you might not normally do. If your family getaways usually involve hotel stays, try tent camping instead. If you usually hit the beach on sunny summer days, try a hike in the woods; or go to a beach on a cool autumn day to experience a much different place. Sometimes when we “mix it up” and do things differently, it helps us experience life from another perspective. This can be a handy way to open ourselves up to the possibility of accepting the viewpoints of others.

A Family Ritual. Share affirmations together as a family by lighting candles and each sharing one positive trait another family member has. Or, each share a positive memory you share with another family member. You might also adopt this as a mealtime ritual: Take a minute to express your thankfulness for the meal and the presence of your family members, and then encourage each family member to state a positive affirmation about someone else at the table.

Let me know if I can be supportive to you in any other way! I am here for you.
All my best with blessings,