Sunday, November 27, 2016

Light the World - How our Primary is Participating

Our Primary began our official participation in the the Light the World initiative today. I want to share what we are doing.

I posted this message on various neighborhood social media pages today:

The [Our Ward Name] Primary taught about "Light the World" with the Primary children today. This is a 25-day "event" starting on December 1 to "give us a chance to look at the things Jesus Christ did and resolve to do the same." You can read about it here:

The children were also given a physical calendar (I attached a PDF to the actual post but have a partial screenshot of it above). We've encouraged them to look for ways to serve each day and write what they have done on individual strips of paper, to bring to church on Sunday. We will add links to our paper chain each Sunday in December to visually show the children how each different way that they choose to follow Christ adds up. This is an amazing opportunity to share the light of Christ. We encourage you to talk about "Light the World" in Family Home Evening on Monday. 

This event is not limited to children that regularly attend our church. If you have children that would like to participate, Primary is in the [Our Building Address] church building from 12-2 p.m. on Sundays. All are welcome!

The #LIGHTtheWORLD initiative began Friday, November 25 and runs through Christmas Day. For our introduction to this topic today, our counselor first focused on what we have been learning in past weeks (about reverence). This was to review what they have learned but also to lead into what she would teach next. She then showed the brief Light the World video that shows modern-day service and how it parallels the Savior's example. She talked with the Primary children about how we can be a light.

Next week, we'll see how many children remember to bring their paper chains, and spend some time around this. We'll send an email reminding parents on December 1 that the initiative has begun, and perhaps a reminder on Saturday night not to forget their paper chains!

Next Sunday, I'd like to spend more time talking about the specific items highlighted for each of the 25 days. The items listed in the calendar are generally for adults but can easily be adapted to children. For example, December 12 says, "Jesus Taught Others and So Can You." The suggestions given are to share a favorite story on social media, pass down something you have learned from your parents or grandparents, or watch an online tutorial to learn a new skill to benefit others. These suggestions are great but more geared toward adults. I think we can have a great participatory discussion in Primary though where we have children give ideas for each day. For this theme, some ideas could be:

1. Help Teach the Family Home Evening lesson
2. Share a passalong card (or a kid's version of one) with a friend.
3. Help your parents make dinner so you can learn a skill there. My parents taught me how to make pancakes at a young age, and it was something I really enjoyed making with them, and then when I got older, for them.
4. Teach a younger brother or sister something you have learned in school or at church.

Since we are focusing our lesson around "Light the World" for two Sundays and then have a stake conference in-between, we are going to combine the scheduled lessons from the Primary Sharing Time manual into one big Christmas lesson on December 18. I'm considering different ways to combine this lesson. We could have something interactive and bring in Nativity clothing or a nativity set. We could break into groups on blankets on the ground for a special storytelling. We try to make our Christmas lesson extra special as it is honoring such a special event, the birth of the Savior of our world!! I'd love to also focus on teaching a lesson in a way that they can take what they have learned home and teach it for Family Home Evening on December 19, Monday. So many ideas! We'll discuss as a presidency when we meet next week, because were 2 or more are gathered, He is there, and he can give us inspiration and guidance as we decide together the best approach that will be the most meaningful for the wonderful children in our ward.

I wanted to also share that when our counselor was teaching this lesson and introducing Light the World, there was a girl in Junior Primary and a boy in Senior Primary, who are siblings, who both raised theirs hands and were excited to share that when they went to visit Grandma for Thanksgiving, she showed them the video (which our counselor hadn't shown yet) and gave them a journal so they could write down every day something they were doing to Light the World. I thought it was great that what their grandmother had done for them had made such a strong impact. I'd love to see other families look for other ways to incorporate Light the World so that what the Primary is doing is simply supporting families as they seek to make this Christmas meaningful.

One other thing. This is a very busy time of the year but I'm hoping that we'll be able to figure out a way that we can serve as a Primary, together, this month. We'll meet and discuss this as a Primary Presidency next week. My biggest idea right now, for something that is simple but that we can do together, is to have the Primary meet to sing Christmas carols to some of the sweet single sisters and maybe even the single brothers (widowed, divorced, and/or empty nesters) in our ward. I think there are so many other great things we can do though so we'll meet and discuss, and in the end, we may just focus on having the Primary do things with their families - but I wanted to throw that idea out there because this is such a wonderful time of the year, but because it's so wonderful, it can also be a struggle for some, and I'd love to have the Primary children find ways to share their beautiful light with others.

No comments:

Post a Comment