Making Room in the Inn…

Each SCORE lesson requires trusting the Spirit of God to stir the hearts of our children; this past Sunday it happened, where metaphor and imagination ignited a transformative conversation.

Theme:  Linking the “Inns” of our hearts with Conscience Formation

At this age, children are very concrete in their thinking, mindful of their development each SCORE lesson is thoughtfully and prayerfully planned…quite honestly, each week I rely on God’s Creative Spirit to guide the lesson.

Last Sunday was no exception. The focus was to create space and time for children to do theology.  The process began with a simple sentence written on a small white board, “And there was no room in the Inn.”  Most of the children readily identified the sentence and the Christmas story. Mary and Joseph, a couple pregnant with child went from Inn to Inn in search of a place to rest. The guiding question:  Is it possible for our heart to be like an Inn?”

The children thought for awhile and very gradually hands started to raise. The children shared their reflections, “It’s when you have a space so people, like your family can stay.” “An inn can be letting your friends come in.”  “Someone is playing alone and you invite them to play.” We discussed the choices we make, and when we say YES, we welcome our family, our friends, classmates, into our hearts. We also discussed ways in which we close the door keeping others out. Mary and Joseph experienced being turned away at the Inn, who do we turn away in our family, among our friends, on the playground or in the neighborhood?

To faciliate discussion, the children received a little heart, on one side it was written: “If I do this will I show love for God, myself, and others?” on the other side, they were invited to draw a picture of “the INN of their heart.” There images, and reflections revealed an awareness and a sincere desire to welcome others. The inns revealed many rooms to invite and protect family and friends from lonliness, fear, rejection, as well as a space for celebrations…The little children are the prophets and poets among us reminding that all our welcomed.

The children were instructed to bring their heart home and share their wisdom with the family. I also encouraged them to hang the heart on the tree as a reminder of those we welcome, or turn away from our “INNS.” One of the children asked if he could take his heart to school…Imagine a school playground where we lived by the principle – all our welcomed into our INN.  …a space without violence, without bullying, a space of peace, promise and hope!

Theme: SCORE Family Advent/Christmas Celebration

Our SCORE family celebration invites all the to “St. Nick’s Community Inn.” This year the children participate in the retelling the Christmas Story experienced through doing “acts of kindness.” The children’s part is to reimagine the dialgoue between the Angel Gabriel and Mary. Their two lines, “How can this be?” and “YES, I will do God’s Plan.” The children wrote out individual acts of kindness they did. Those acts were collect and will be passed out on Sunday before the play.

My the inn of our hearts glow with the love and compassion of God!
Pat

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