On January 1st, we in Santa Rosa, invited all of our youth and teens to join a special youth service that was designed to identify the personal values and qualities of being that are important to us individually and collectively. What transpired in our time together was both inspiring and a demonstration of the values we are already living from as well as those we wish to step into in a greater way.
The values identified were: God, Empathy, Diversity, Kindness, Love, Creativity, Honesty, Compassion, Friendship, Beauty, Peace, Joy, Wisdom, Happiness, Integrity, Supportive communication, Authenticity and Unity. Statements came up such as, celebrating our differences and being supportive to others with special needs. Many of the same values were spoken into the room and underlined so we could have a visual of those that held the greatest importance. Love, Creativity and Kindness were at the top of the list. These qualities/values will be incorporated in the weekly curriculum that is being developed to support our annual theme.
As the remainder of the month is unfolding we are sharing together our ideas about God. What is it? What does it look like? What does it feel like? And, how does it work in our lives? The photo above came from a creative project where the children were asked to create an image of what God looks like to them. We are also collecting words and phrases that we use in our affirmative prayer practice. We'll wrap up the month on the 29th by threading them together into one giant prayer.
If you haven't taken the time to explore what it is that you personally value, I encourage you to give it a go. Expand it into a family event and discover the core values you share together, then plan something to do once a month as a family that expresses your values in your community or the global community. Together we can make a difference for good!