May 8, 2016
Margaret: religious reformer and peacemaker. Hildegard: theologian, writer, scholar. Elizabeth: server of the poor and sick. Catherine: mystic. Julian: anchoress and visionary. These women are examples of the breadth of our call to serve God in Christ; we, like the royal Margaret and Elizabeth, may be rich and powerful; like Hildegard and Catherine, we may choose to live as ordained religious; like Julian, we may lead lives known only by what they left behind (we don’t even know Julian or Norwich’s actual name). All these women had an intimate relationship with Christ, and all chose to act out of that relationship.
Today in the secular world, we also celebrate Mothers’ Day. Julian of Norwich famously asserted that the closest we can come to understanding God’s love for us is through the relationship of mother and child; perhaps Julian’s personal point of view as a woman hampered her ability to see the depth of a father-child relationship, or perhaps the times in which she lived made the depth of that relationship necessarily less apparent, as most fathers would have been working sunup to sundown and beyond to support their families rather than being constantly with their babies as mothers had to. In any case, on this day the secular world chooses to celebrate mothers, and we will come together in Sunday school to celebrate the love of parents for their children as our nearest understanding of God’s love for us.
- Gathering activity: cards for our mothers and fathers
- Materials: Cardstock, construction paper, hole punches, markers, gluing supplies, glittering supplies
- How to do it: As teacher talks about the five medieval women of our story, and in particular about Julian of Norwich’s controversial (for its time) contention that God is both father and mother, children use their imaginations (like Hildegard, whose visions were highly imaginative) to make cards for their parents or those who act in parental ways toward them.
- Story script from Weaving God’s Promises
- Main activity: Salt scrub (for mothers, made by younger children) and lotion bars (for fathers, made by older children)
- Salt scrub: instructions, table and floor protection, paper towels, sea salt, olive oil, essential oil, bowls, spoons, measuring cups, jars, canning funnel, scoops, ribbon or string, linen squares, cotton balls, double-sided tape, fabric markers
- Lotion bars: instructions, table protection, shea butter, coconut oil, beeswax, hotplate, double boiler, spoon, trivet, ladle, freestanding cupcake cups or other molds, tray, linen squares, fabric markers, jute string
- How to do it:
- Salt scrub: Each child makes a simple design with fabric marker on his or her linen square. These are set aside until the final assembly. Teacher invites children to help measure sea salt and olive oil into their individual bowls, then teacher adds just a drop or two of essential oil for fragrance. Children mix these ingredients thoroughly, then (with help as necessary) spoon or pour them into their jars. Teacher helps wipe off jars. Children place the flat lids onto their jars, then tape a cotton ball to the center of the lid. Their fabric square goes over the cotton ball, then they screw the jar ring over the fabric square so that it is puffy. Finally, they can tie a piece of string or ribbon around the top of their jar and tie the other end to a scoop.
- Lotion bars: Because this activity involves heating beeswax and oils together, it is a teacher-performed activity. Teacher heats the measured ingredients in a double boiler just until melted and blended, then removes double boiler insert from heat. While these ingredients are heating, children stack several free-standing cupcake cups together for strength, placing stacks on a tray. They may also decorate their linen squares if they wish. If teacher determines that children are competent to ladle the hot melted mixture into their cups, they may do so with help and supervision; otherwise, teacher ladles. The tray may be refrigerated until the end of class (teacher or assistant should carry it upstairs).