Saturday, June 15, 2019

Pointing Fingers & Name Calling

I'm a little late this week. I’ve moved my daughter to Cleveland to join Teach for America. I’ll be visiting her now and then so if your church or your church-based school is in that general area and interested in a PBT workshop, I’d love to come your way. Teaching is one of my joys and strengths. Contact me to the left, and we’ll work out the details. I’m willing to travel outside of Cleveland too if you’re willing to pay my driving expenses. Today’s book is so fun and profound and very human with lots of scripture connections!
Picture Book: You Are (Not) Small
Authors: Anna Kang
Illustrator: Christopher Weyant
Summary: This story begins with a pointed finger and judgement...
that quickly rebounds.
Perhaps there is comfort in a crowd, but peers sometimes encourage more arrogance and ignorance and...
Arrogance, ignorance, and aggression. How these very human inclinations change everything. 
What could have started as loving diverse community  
has to get through some violence     
and surprises 
 before understanding is expanded
 and connections are made. 
But these characters don't learn any quicker 
 than humans do.
Hanna’s Comments:  If you are struggling with name-calling and teasing among the children/youth in your church, here's a book for you! Spend some time on the feelings of all parties and invite some story sharing. Make scriptural connections, in a non-judgmental way of course, and then apply to your community, Christianity in general, and even your present political environment. Remind them of the inherent worth of every individual as a child of God, imaged in the divine. Don't want to talk about the nastiness of politics or racism at church? Your kids may be soaking it up already. If they see such attitudes in the church community or spiritual leaders, their confusion is inevitable and their role models may be scarce. Be careful to talk about aspects of respect and love in diverse community without drawing divisive political lines. This may be the first opportunity children/youth experience this. As for adult programming, here's a quick intro to a conversation on The Fruit of the Spirit when in boundary-crossing dialogue. This book is the first in a series that includes That’s (Not) Mine, I Am (Not) Scared, and We Are (Not) Friends. These you can get separately or in a boxed set. There’s even a growth chart, activity guide, and Common Core guide to go with this title!
Original Publisher & Date: Two Lions, 2014
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 2 and up, Toddler and up
Formats other than Book: Tablet
Scripture Connections: All humans are made in God's image (Genesis 1:27); Do not judge so that you will not be judged (Matthew 7:1; Luke 6:37); passing judgement on another, you condemn yourselves. (Romans 2:1); There is neither Jew nor Greek... (Romans 3:28); The Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23); Do not speak evil against another (James 4:11); ...encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. (1 Thessalonians 5:14b)
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to any age. Focus on the judgmental nature of humans and how Jesus and the early Christian community warned us against this. 

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