Planted By Streams of Water || From Self-Care to Structural Care || Psalm 1 + Psalm 90

Sunday, October 25, 2020 — Worship@Home resources for FirstPres Hayward

As our congregation has made the decision to move to a digital online format for our Sunday Family Gathering due to COVID-19, FirstPresKids is here to provide resources that can help you create your own at-home family worship experience or supplement the one that will be streamed on Sunday mornings, 10PST from FirstPres Hayward.

NOTE: You can also go to the FPK YouTube Channel to view most (not all) of these materials on this week’s FirstPresKids YouTube Playlist.

Colorful mural of a multiethnic, multigenerational gathering enjoying a potluck meal together.
(Fichter, David. Potluck Mural, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=56967 [retrieved October 20, 2020]. Original source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zenmama/5429643508 — L. Sabato.)

Scriptural Focus: Psalm 1 tells us that to thrive we must not listen to the wicked, avoid places where toxic forces circulate, refrain from sin, study and follow the teachings of God — our dwelling place (Psalm 90); we must be planted like a tree next to a stream of water. We understand that access to clean water and healthy soil will give us strong roots, we will bear fruit and succeed.

Lesson Objective:

  • to understand the difference between self-care, self-soothing, community care and structural care
  • to recognize that we have all been born into a polluted and sinful world of ruthless capitalism and toxic individuality that departs from the teachings of God about wholeness and mutuality; while as Christians there are some things we can do to tap into “streams of water”, we must work to create a world where all are cared for and nurtured on healthy ground, where everyone is planted by a life-giving stream (structural care)

Parent/Caregiver Resources:

  • “HISTORY OF IDEAS — Capitalism”… how Jesus got it right and Christians got it wrong…
  • How to Improve Capitalism — we tend to think that we can’t overturn the status quo, we’re afraid of the term “socialism”, but things have not always been as they are nor do they have to be. Did you know Sweden used to have no income tax? And the United States used to have a 91% income tax?

Opening or Closing Prayer: Dear God, Just as a tree needs sun, healthy air, water, soil to grow — all your children need to feel planted in good soil, near streams of water. We all deserve a chance to thrive. But we know that we live in an unhealthy world, a sick world, a toxic world — where we are not encouraged to care for one another — we are told to be selfish, to care only for ourselves, to get to the top and be successful no matter what it takes. We are told that resources are limited and we must compete. But God, remind us that you created us to need each other. Helps us to remember there is enough — enough resources, enough love, enough imagination. Help us walk the path of Jesus, resisting dangerous ideas and forces that threaten our well-being and keep us from living out your vision for the Beloved Community. Amen.

Scripture:

  • “Psalm 90:2” — Psalm 90:1 begins “God is our dwelling place” and this follows, reminding us of the original source of our wholeness and healing

Videos for Kids:

Discussion Questions:

  • What does it take for a tree to grow healthy and strong (thrive)? According to the scripture? And on this planet?
  • What does it take for humans to grow healthy and strong (thrive)?
  • Does everyone have access to what they need to thrive? If they don’t, why not? What do you think God or Jesus would say about that?
  • Self-care is important, but the video says it is like a band-aid — it doesn’t fix the problems we have in society when people don’t receive the care they need and deserve as God’s children. We need to keep people from tripping and falling in the first place. What are things in our world that trip people up?
  • What can we do to remove obstacles, create a world that keeps people from getting hurt in the first place?
  • God created us to live in community — in mutuality and harmony, not independently and inequitably. What are ways we can mutually care for one another in our families, communities? Neighbors and strangers? Someone in another country?

Play:

  • “Cooperative Activities — The Stick” — our goal is NOT a world where we spend and consume to “treat” ourselves, but a balanced world where we give and receive and care for one another so that all will succeed

Create:

  • “How To Draw A Tree” — as a reminder and symbol that we all need healthy soil and pure water to thrive (free of the pollution, sin and toxic ideas that shape our selfish and greedy culture)

Books: libraries are closed and you may not have time to order books, but check out the lists below and often a quick internet search will turn up a video version of many picture books. Or see below for my quick picks that you can “read” online!

Written by Lauren Gibbs-Beadle @firstpreskidshayward Children’s Ministries @firstpreshayward | educator, creative, parent | she/her