One Week to Register Your Children for CRE (before fees go up)

FUS boasts of having one of the largest, most successful and most copied Children’s RE programs in the country, closing each school year with over 500 enrollees.

Our CRE program serves kids in pre-school through 9th grade. We cannot do this without the commitment and contributions of parents. All CRE parents are asked to volunteer in some capacity and that’s a win/win. Our program is benefited by your time and talent, and hopefully your life is enriched by the connections you make along the way. Be sure to review the list of options and select volunteer opportunities that speak to your interests (you select three; we assign you to one).

Register soon to avoid the increase in fees for Children’s Religious Education classes. Fees will increase $20 per child ($25 for Coming of Age) on June 1. Your early(ish) registration will save you money and help us to assure we have the number of teachers needed to accommodate our enrollment. You can register on-line at /CRE-registration or by filling out a form at the Religious Education Table in the Commons.

More at http://fusmadison.org/just

News From the Red Floors for May 22 to 29, 2015

News From the Red Floors for
May 22 to 29, 2015

Sermon

Dear FUS Neighbors

It is the calm before the holiday weekend storm here on the Red Floors just now. Down in the Commons, our Social Justice Coordinator Becky Schigiel and the indefatigable Lisa West and Reenie Euhardy are preparing for the arrival of the replica Solitary Confinement cell we will have here for 2 weeks.It will provide the opportunity to learn experientially about our in-justice system, and I suspect it will open our eyes wide.

The Rev. Schuler will be speaking this weekend, his topic being “The Moral Equivalent of War.” Many announcements follow.
So see you at the Meeting House. We will make some coffee and look for you!
– Harry

Summer Fun Returns  

this weekend and the always exciting and energetic Abby Whisler is back in the lead! This summer we will be exploring the Picture Book UU curriculum, reading fun stories that highlight our 7 principles and enjoying activities that enhance our fun. Don’t be mislead by the name, Summer Fun is still for all kids 4-12. There is no fee, just please sign in with Abby at the Greeter’s station before service. Kids attend the beginning of service and are dismissed after the message for all ages. This weekend we will explore the Golden Rule to set the stage for a peaceful and positive summer of Fun!

Lost and Found  

Did you lose a jacket, glove, sweatshirt or other item over this past year? Check out of Lost area and find your items! These will be on display through this weekend and then will be donated if not taken. Questions? See Jeanne Sears, Coordinator of Member Programs at 233-9774 ext. 116.

Support the UUSC-UUA Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund 

The loss of life and devastation in Nepal from the recent earthquake are truly staggering. Rebuilding is beginning and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and the Unitarian Universalist Association have activated joint emergency response efforts. Donate at http://bit.ly/1EoKoXB.

Child Care for Next Fall
Do you (or will you) have an infant or toddler who will need child care during worship services next fall? If so, please register now to reserve a spot. There’s no fee, but we do like to know how many kids to anticipate so that we can schedule enough care providers. You can register at /cre-registration.

Outreach Offering Nominations due May 20, for 2015-2016  During most worship services, our offerings are shared with a community organization, selected by Michael Schuler, in consultation with our social justice coordinator from those suggested by FUS members. Nominations are reviewed in light of the mission and vision of FUS and UU Principles. Additional priority is given to organizations that meet pressing local or regional needs and with whom members are actively involved. E-mail beckys@fusmadison.org for a nomination form.

Shawl Ministry drop-in gathering
The next Shawl Ministry gathering will be on Thursday, May 21,  from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the Atrium library, with Dorit Bergen hosting. We’re a pleasant, informal group, and newcomers are always welcome. Questions? Contact us at /shawl.

Wondering what you won at Cabaret?
Just a reminder, that the Cabaret winning bidders are listed on the Cabaret webpage at /winners.  You also will be receiving an invoice in the mail. Any questions or concerns, call Sally at 233-9774 ext. 123. Thank you to everyone who helped make “An Old Fashioned Cabaret” a success.

Messages for Sasha
On May 31, Sasha Ostrom, our ministerial intern, will be leaving Madison for a position as Assistant Minister at the UU Fellowship of Raleigh, North Carolina. For the past two weeks we’ve been collecting messages to put into a notebook to help Sasha remember her time with us. The special mailbox and paper will be in the Commons for one last weekend. If you’d like to write your message at home, simply put it on one half of an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. Make it as simple or as glitzy as you’d like!

2 Ways to Help One City Early Learning
One City Early Learning Centers is a new preschool using “a 2 generation approach” that-with our financial help-will open in September 2015 in South Madison. One City will be a shared offering recipient the next two Sundays. Another way you can help is to give your time on Saturday, May 30, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., to help clean and pack up classrooms in advance of remodeling. Please contact Jan O’Neill at jano1855@gmail.com or 698-1855 if you are interested and/or Click here to donate: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/onecity

Spiritual Topics Book Group
The May meeting of the Spiritual Topics Book Group will be held in the Gaebler Living Room on Tuesday, May 26, at 7 p.m. The group will discuss the book The Bonobo and the Atheist: in Search of Humanism among the Primates’ by Franz de Waal. For further information contact Ken Gage at (303)263-4707 or ksgage@yahoo.com.

Solitary Confinement Cell & Forum May 26.
FUS will host a full-size replica of a Wisconsin solitary confinement cell in the Commons May 23-31. On Tuesday, May 26, at 7 p.m. we will hold a public community forum on incarceration practices deemed torture by a UN expert and used widely in our state. Visit the replica cell, attend the forum, and contact beckys@fusmadison.org to reserve time to experience the cell individually for up to an hour.

Health Issues Group
The Health Issues Group will meet on Wednesday, May 27, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Atrium Library. This group provides an opportunity for spiritual and community support for individuals dealing with health issues or physical impairments. Please contact Facilitator Susan (225)636-8214 or Lay Minister Amy 841-1091 for further information.

Job/Career Loss Support Group
Anyone facing uncertainty in their job or career is invited to join this informal drop-in meeting on the 4th Thursday of each month (May 28 is next) from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Courtyard E. We help each other find resources and hope. Join us! Contact Bob Radford 845-3523 for info.

“Love is Love” Wedding Reception and Dance for all of FUS to participate on Friday, May 29 at 6:30 p.m.
Join us in the Atrium Auditorium for a Reception and Dance! We will celebrate those couples married these past years and not recognized in Wisconsin. It will be an wonderful celebration and dance for all of our FUS congregation. The DJ’ed dance will be begin at 7 p.m. and will have our reception favorites. Come celebrate…come for cake…come to dance…come for fun! There are no tickets only donations at the door! Questions? Contact Jeanne Sears, Coordinator of Member Programs, jeannes@fusmadison.org or 233-9774 ext. 116.

Important Parish Meeting

The FUS Spring Parish Meeting this year will be Sunday, May 31. Please join us in the Atrium after the 11 a.m. service. The almost-famous lunch will be provided by the Foodhaulers, and the meeting will start at 12:30 p.m. to vote on the budget, and other important items.

Water Sentinel Planning Meeting
The Water Sentinels invite you to join them on Sunday, May 31, at 4 p.m. in Courtyard C. We are currently planning activities for the summer and fall, and a follow up to groundwater resolution. Some possible activities:  A water summer fun day, week of water with the public libraries, tour of a fish hatchery. The Water Sentinels welcome your ideas and participation. Please join us there or contact Liz Wessel, 238-9934 or lizmwessel@gmail.com or Cindy Rose, 271.6440 or crose5@att.net with your ideas.

Mallard’s Baseball Night with other FUS’ers
Tickets are still available for our evening game and grill out at the Mallard’s Baseball Game. Tickets are $10 per person for the game plus $5 for the grill out before game time! The grill out at Warner Park Shelter will begin at 5 p.m., game begins at 6:35. Contact Jeanne Sears for tickets jeannes@fusmadison.org or 233-9774 ext. 116 by May 28 to reserve your spots!

Possibly Still time to Register for UU Family Camp
Bayside Camp provides a nurturing and fun atmosphere for singles and families of all configurations and traditions. It takes place on the shore of Lake Geneva in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, July 12 to 18.  This special week includes adult workshops, activities for children, free time for family fun and relaxation, and intergenerational activities. For more information visit our website at http://www.yahoodrummers.com/bayside/or contact the Camp Registrar, Carol Roan, BaysideUU@gmail.com or 232-1627.

Violist Jeremy Kienbaum in Fundraiser Recital…
FUS member Jeremy Kienbaum will be graduating from the UW School of Music this spring and has been accepted into the Masters of Music program at the famed Juilliard School of music in New York City. Jeremy has been active in the FUS music program, playing in the FUS String Band, our All Music Sunday orchestras and more, and we wish him much success in his new venture. Jeremy, with pianist Micah Behr and cellist Andrew Briggs, will be playing a concert in the Atrium Auditorium on Saturday, June 13, at 7 p.m. Tickets, available at the door or at Orange Tree Imports, are $20.  The proceeds will go towards the cost of tuition.

“Service Sunday” Date Set
On Sunday, August 23, FUS and friends will DO service instead of attending services. If you have an idea for a group volunteer project, or can lead a project, or just want to help make it happen, please e-mail Lisa West at west@charter.net.

Peace & Justice Book Club
The Peace and Justice Book Club will not meet in May due to the holiday.  Next meeting:  June 22 in Courtyard C at 7 p.m. Book: The more beautiful world our hearts know is possible, by Charles Eisenstein. Questions? Carole Briggs gone.knitting@hotmail.com.

FUS on Ebay
FUS has several items donated by members posted on Ebay this week. If you are interested in bidding, please visit http://www.ebay.com/usr/fusmadison.  All proceeds go to the FUS operating fund. If you have something valuable you want to donate to the Society (think $500 or more), please e-mail or call COO Andy Gussert at 233-9774 ext 110 or /COO.

James Reeb UU: Musical Help Wanted!
James Reeb UU Congregation in East Madison is currently searching for a part-time Music Director.  Applicatons close May 31. More info: http://www.jruuc.org/music-director-job-description.

 

 

“The Moral Equivalent of War” – This Sunday at FUS

Sunday, May 24 at 9 & 11 a.m.
No Saturday Services during the Summer

“The Moral Equivalent of War”

by Michael A. Schuler, Senior Minister

My title is drawn from a well-known essay by the American philosopher William James. The passions that cause human communities to engage in physical combat are unlikely to be eliminated, so we must try to harness or redirect them. Are there other enterprises to which human beings would commit themselves with comparable courage and devotion, and are there ones that would advance rather than retard the cause of civilization?

Early music specialist Trevor Stephenson will perform.

http://fusmadison.org/passion

Ancora String Quartet – May 23rd @ 7 pm

Hear the Ancora String Quartet in the Landmark Auditorium on May 23.

The stellar Ancora String Quartet will play music of Shostakovich, Beethoven and Brahms on Saturday, May 23, at 7:30 p.m. Admission, available at the door, is $15, $12 for students and seniors, and $6 for children under 12.

The members’ credentials include degrees from the Indiana University School of Music and the University of Texas-Austin, as well as study at the New England Conservatory and Eastman School of Music. Individually, they have attended numerous chamber music festivals and performed across the United States and Europe.

The four players have well-established individual musical careers as soloists, chamber musicians and orchestral players. They perform constantly in Madison and beyond, appearing regularly in such ensembles as the Madison Symphony Orchestra, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, the Madison Bach Musicians, the Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble, and the Bach Collegium of Fort Wayne IN.

The quartet got its start in 2000, when violinist Robin Ryan bought a house, by chance, next door to violist Marika Fischer Hoyt, and recognized (with some difficulty) a fellow participant at a Vermont chamber music festival 14 years previously. Both musicians began playing with the Madison Symphony, met other local string players, and decided to form a quartet. When violinist Leanne Kelso League and cellist Benjamin Whitcomb joined the group, the ensemble was ready to try its wings. For five years, the quartet gave recitals in various concert halls and churches in Madison and surrounding cities, including Stoughton, Beloit and Whitewater.

The quartet’s breakthrough 2006-2007 season saw its establishment as String Quartet in Residence at the First Unitarian Society (FUS) of Madison, as well as its first appearance on the ‘Sunday Afternoon Live’ series at the Chazen Art Museum. “You guys rock!” proclaimed WPR host Lori Skelton, summing up the response of the overflow crowd.

Subsequent seasons built on that solid foundation; the 2007-2008 season saw the beginning of a love affair with the local press, with favorable reviews coming in from Isthmus’ John Barker and Sandy Rucker-Tabachnick. The love affair was celebrated in the 2009-2010 Critics’ Choice Season, with recital programs selected for ASQ by three prominent Madison classical music critics: Isthmus’ John Barker, The Capital Times’ Jacob Stockinger, and Wisconsin Public Radio’s Norman Gilliland. The ASQ celebrated its 10th Anniversary, as well as its fifth year as Quartet In Residence at FUS, in its 2010-2011 Ancora and Friends Season, highlighting the connections it has built up over the years. In the 2011-2012 season, the ASQ explored the working relationships between four master composers, and the violinists who inspired and premiered their quartets. Entitled The Musician and His Muse, that season culminated in performances of the famous Mendelssohn Octet, with the Madison Symphony’s Rhapsodie String Quartet.

In the 2012-2013 concert season, the ASQ celebrated twelve years together with a Shakespearian-themed Twelfth Season: “If music be the food of love, play on!” Inspired by local theatrical stagings of the comedy Twelfth Night, at the American Players Theater in Spring Green as well as at the Young Shakespeare Players in Madison, that season’s recital programs included selections from Mendelssohn’s 12 Fugues for String Quartet (1821), from Dvorak’s 12 Cypresses, and Shostakovich’s Quartet No. 12, which utilizes 12-tone techniques.

The 2013-2014 Season marks the ASQ’s 13th year of presenting recitals in Wisconsin, and where one door closed this year, others have opened. Our creative response to the leave of absence of our first violinist has been to reach out to and collaborate with other musical colleagues. In the fall we explored repertoire combining strings and woodwinds, joined by Robin Fellows, flute, Christian Ellenwood, clarinet, and Carol Rosing, bassoon. On September 13 we presented a well-attended performance of quartets by Pleyel, Bärmann and Danzi, at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Madison. This spring we look forward to working again with pianist Myung Hee Chung in a program of piano quartets by Mozart, Bridge and Turina.

The ASQ looks forward to sharing beautiful music with Wisconsin audiences in this, their Fourteenth Season, and for many seasons to come.

http://ancoraquartet.com/

FUS to Host Solitary Cell Replica

by Becky Schigiel, Social Justice Coordinator

Today, as you read this, about 1500 people are in solitary confinement in Wisconsin.  What comes to your mind?  You might think of a prison cell with no windows, no light and no sound. This is partially accurate. There is no sunlight, but the light in the cell is always on, both day and night.  There is the sound of other prisoners, described as loud and unrelenting.

“Solitary confinement literally drives men mad,” testified Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in March.  A United Nations torture expert reported in 2011 that even 15 days in solitary confinement constitutes torture, and 15 days is the limit after which irreversible harmful psychological effects can occur.

In 2012, Wisconsin placed more than 4,000 men in solitary confinement, well above the national average. A high percentage were mentally ill. 118 were isolated for over two years.

A way to learn what solitary confinement is like is now available to us.  For one week, beginning May 24, FUS will host a full-size replica of a cell in the Segregation Unit of the Waupan Correctional Institution. Headphones will provide access to a recording of actual sounds heard in a solitary cell.  (Appropriate age restrictions on access to the replica will be in place.)

Witness

One way to be a witness to this issue is to spend time alone in the cell replica.  In addition to general viewing, we will offer times during the week during which individuals can reserve a 30 or 60 minute slot. This might be a time for meditation, prayer, or deep reflection about the reality of life in prison.

Learn

During the installation week, Rev. Jerry Hancock will lead a Community Forum at FUS, including speakers with solitary cell experience.  Rev. Hancock is the former head of law-enforcement services in the WI Department of Justice and current Director of the Prison Ministry Project. (Watch the News from the Red Floors for details.)

Some of our older students have selected to focus on incarceration in the Faith in Action component of their Religious Education class.  This month, they will write notes of encouragement to individuals in solitary at the Dane County Jail, to be delivered by a chaplain.

Organize and Advocate

FUS belongs to MOSES, an affiliate of WISDOM, the statewide interfaith coalition working to change the conditions inside Wisconsin’s prisons. Our MOSES Ministry Team will coordinate the installation and community forum.  From our Commons to the Capitol, MOSES members regularly and effectively speak out against solitary confinement and mass incarceration in Wisconsin.

Please contact me at /socialjusticecoordinator with any questions about the cell replica or to get involved in this and other social justice actions at FUS.

 

 

 

 

 

Teens: Looking for a Job?

Our Child Care room is looking to hire a couple of additional teens to add to our team. Teen child care providers are scheduled to work during some worship services, parish events, adult ed classes, choirs, and more. You get to play with kids, so there’s a lot of fun involved! You must be 14 years-old and have completed (or can complete soon) a Babysitting Certification program.

If you’re interested, contact Leslie Ross at /DRE for an application.

FUS Job Opening – Digital Media Coordinator

Location: First Unitarian Society, 900 University Bay Drive in Madison WI 53705

FUS is a community of people who gather to explore spiritual, ethical and social issues in an accepting environment. We support the freedom of conscience of each individual as we seek to be a force for good in the world. All of us agree that there is no single, superior path, and that there are many possibilities to ponder. While neither UUA nor FUS membership are required for this position, a successful candidate will be familiar with the culture and history of Unitarian Universalism.

Position Overview:

Our communications director is retiring after 17 years, and we are splitting this position into two different areas: Digital Media and Publications. You will be part of a team made up of the COO, Publications Coordinator, Digital Media Coordinator, audio specialist, weekend event staff,  IT consultant, and a position to live stream YouTube on Sunday mornings.

The digital media position will coordinate all aspects of website development and maintenance, social media, online member contact, audio and video streaming, e-commerce, and other electronic communications. This position will report to the COO, with a high degree of autonomy and independence.  There will be a six month and one year performance review.

Qualifications:

  • You have solid interpersonal skills, are self-motivated, and have the ability to handle multiple ongoing projects and incoming requests with grace and wit.
  • The ideal candidate should also have at least two years of experience in online communications, with a degree from a post-secondary institution, and exceptional writing, editing and web-based skills.
  • You have knowledge of and experience with html, CSS, social media tools, and content management systems. You would be familiar with web development tools such as WordPress, Drupal or Acrobat.
  • You know how to use a PC and most Microsoft software products.
  • You are comfortable around audio and video equipment.
  • A background in programming, Linux, graphic design, photography, or editing is a plus.

Specific Job Duties:

  • Learn all aspects of current digital and electronic communications at FUS, including basic knowledge of audio streaming, YouTube webcast, constant contact email software and Neptune based website platform. Training and transition will be provided.
  • Work in tandem with the new publications coordinator, including ability to cover his or her duties in event of vacation or sickness. That person will also be able to cover your duties as needed.
  • A large portion of this job will be taking the written content from the publications coordinator and sharing it online and by email on Fridays, or as scheduled. You will likely need to work on Thursdays and Fridays.
  • Update the website as needed, with attention to keeping it ‘evergreen’ when possible.  We may move our entire site to another web platform, such as WordPress or Drupal, largely based upon your feedback and discretion.
  • Manage the development, implementation and ongoing maintenance of web properties and digital tools, including the potential move to another platform.
  • Do periodic usability testing on FUS websites and troubleshoot usability problems. Recommend changes based on results.
  • Manage e-commerce systems in coordination with Office Manager.
  • Coordinate weekly and monthly email schedule of Red Floors, Newsletter and other special announcements.  Work with staff on moving to new database platform. We are currently using “Shelby”, set up specifically for large churches.
  • Operate the video production system during FUS events as needed, including Sunday morning when current person is away. Learn how to operate sound systems and other media equipment.
  • Post major events in public forums such as the Daily Page, 77 Square, Chamber of Commerce, Meet Up and other online resources.
  • Post announcements to our WordPress blog weekly to monthly, to be disseminated over social media as you choose to schedule.
  • Grow web and social media presence in terms of website hits, Google analytics, YouTube views, Facebook members, twitter followers, but all with the intention of bringing new people into our community. We want new people to unplug from their computer or Smartphone and into FUS.
  • Other responsibilities include updating site features and functionality, monitoring and reporting on digital media metrics, and researching and recommending innovative ways to increase organization’s web and social media presence.
  • Work with and train member volunteers doing online communication projects.
  • Other duties as assigned — and it can get interesting on any given week. This is a diverse and dynamic environment with heavy and ever changing member involvement. That also makes it a lot of fun, with new challenges.

Details:

Work 25 hours a week, at $15.00 an hour, with additional 10% of added into your retirement account (this is about $2000 annually). We allow for flexible scheduling, and have progressive vacation, personal days and sick leave policy outline in a human resource manual. You will have your own desk and office space; work with really good people, and be part of a 135 year old Madison institution.

How to Apply:

Send a resume, one page cover letter and list references from past positions to COO Andy Gussert at andyg@fusmadison.org by Midnight on May 31, 2015.  You can also send by mail to the address listed above. Interviews held in June, with start date second week of July or earlier.

(If you fax credentials to us, it will likely disqualify you from this position.)

 

 

Bringing It Home: A BlogPost for Parents and Kids

Kelly J. Crocker, Minister of Congregational Life

The Right of Conscience Our fifth UU Principle, the Right of Conscience and the Use of the Democratic Process is oftentimes translated for children as “all people need a voice.”  That covers the democratic piece of the principle pretty well but I think we need to also emphasize the right of conscience piece as well.  Conscience can be described as the voice in your head and feeling in your heart that tells you if something is right or wrong.  When you are in touch with your conscience you are listening to your inner voice that can be seen as your moral compass.  This month, spend some time as a family getting in touch with your own inner voice and listening to what it says.

Chalice Lighting We light our chalice in faith and hope,

to find what meaning life holds for us,

to laugh and sing with one another,

to soothe the wounds of daily life,

and to grow together in wisdom and in love.

Marjorie Skwire

The Wise Teacher’s Test Adapted from a Jataka tale (Buddhist).

Once upon a time on the outskirts of a big city in Japan there stood an old temple. From a young age boys who wanted to study Buddhism would come to live in the temple and to learn from the master teacher, a Buddhist monk.

One day the Buddhist monk who ran this small temple decided to teach his young students a lesson. He gathered them around him, and spoke,” My dear students, as you can see, I am growing old, and slow. I can no longer provide for the needs of the temple as I once did. I know I have not yet taught you to work for money, and so I can only think of one thing that can keep our school from closing.” The students drew close with eyes wide.

“Our nearby city is full of wealthy people with more money in their purses than they could ever need. I want you to go into the city and follow those rich people as they walk through the crowded streets, or when they walk down the deserted alleyways. When no one is looking, and only when no one is looking, you must steal their purses from them. That way we will have enough money to keep our school alive.”

“But Master,” the boys chorused in disbelief, “you have taught us that it is wrong to take anything that does not belong to us.”

“Yes, indeed I have,” the old monk replied. “It would be wrong to steal if it were not absolutely necessary. And remember, you must not be seen! If anyone can see you, you must not steal! Do you understand?”

The boys looked nervously from one to the other. Had their beloved teacher gone mad? His eyes shone with intensity such as they had never seen before. “Yes, Master,” they said quietly.

“Good,” he said. “Now go, and remember, you must not be seen!”

The boys got up and quietly began to file out of the temple building. The old monk rose slowly and watched them go.

When he turned back inside, he saw that one student was still standing quietly in the corner of the room. “Why did you not go with the others?” he asked the boy. “Do you not want to help save our temple?”

“I do, Master,” said the boy quietly. “But you said that we had to steal without being seen. I know that there is no place on Earth that I would not be seen, for I would always see myself.”

“Excellent!” exclaimed the teacher. “That is just the lesson that I hoped my students would learn, but you were the only one to see it. Run and tell your friends to return to the temple before they get us into trouble.”

The boy ran and got his friends who were nervously gathered just out of sight of the temple, trying to decide what to do. When they returned, the Master told them the words the boy had spoken and they all understood the lesson.

No matter what we do, we always have a part of ourselves that is quietly watching, and that knows right from wrong and can guide us if we listen.

Family Activity and Craft

I See Myself

This activity gives children a chance to remember or anticipate situations that did or could, activate their inner voice or conscience. A hands-on activity can help children understand the meaning of conscience.

Invite everyone to close their eyes and use their imaginations to see themselves. In your own words, remind them about the Buddhist student in the story who did not steal. You may say:

That student said there was nowhere on earth where he would not be seen, because he would always see himself.  Remind them that they see themselves when they look in a mirror. Thinking about how they look in a mirror may help some children begin visualizing a situation they have been in.

Now ask the children to quietly think about a time or a situation in their own lives in which they used their conscience. Tell them this situation will probably be one in which they had to make a choice about how they would behave, or what they would do. Tell them the situation can be a real one, that really happened, or something that might happen. Give some examples, such as:

  • “I see myself playing with a toy that my brother wants to use.”
  • “I see myself in the cafeteria, where there is a new child who nobody is talking to or sitting with.”

Now ask the children to open their eyes, take a piece of paper and crayons or markers, and draw themselves in the situation they imagined.  Remind them that their conscience is part of the story. Ask them to see if they can find a way to draw themselves, the situation where they needed or used their conscience, and their conscience itself. You can’t really see a conscience or an inner voice, but it can be fun to imagine what it might look like.

You can also decorate mirrors with stones, gems, glass paint and stickers that can later be hung in a place all can see to remind you that when you see your reflection, you are seeing your self and remind you to have a check in with your own inner voice.

Resources

The Paper Bag Princess, Robert Munsch

Listen to the Wind, Greg Mortenso

Peace Begins with You, Katherine Scholes

The Empty Pot, Demi