More Than A Bar of Soap

More Than A Bar of Soap

This is a script for a children’s talk adapted from Rob Bell’s book Drop Like Stars. I gave each child a bar of soap at the beginning of the talk. Some artists were given bars of soap (just like the ones you’re holding) with the challenge of seeing what they could create with it. I wanted to show you some photos of the things that they made and created… An Owl A face Two rings joined together A bird A small rabbit Some fingers An Xbox controller I wonder which object was your favourite. All these items – were already inside the soap waiting to be discovered and let out. All the sculptors did was remove and take away. Our lives are a bit like the bar of the soap. There endless possibilities hidden under layers of fear or worry or trying to please other people. We are like artists creating something beautiful with our lives – it’s less about what we add and more about what we take away. More about what we give than what we take. I wonder what you’d choose to take away or leave behind? So I have a challenge for you…I wonder what you would create with your bar of soap. What is hiding waiting to be released? Maybe you could work on it over this next week and bring it back to show us what you’ve...
Story: Potato, Eggs and Coffee Beans

Story: Potato, Eggs and Coffee Beans

Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed. Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot. He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing. After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?” “Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied. “Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face. “Father, what does this mean?” she asked. He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling water. However, each one reacted...
Assembly: Compassion

Assembly: Compassion

Introductory Reflection Compassion – Click for Powerpoint Slides. Show these when the pupils begin to gather before the assembly. Video: Connor’s Story   Some thoughts To be compassionate we start with what we have to give where we are – in the video the wrestlers simply gave their time and their attention. Compassion isn’t about some outlandish or overly generous thing that we do – but it starts just by turning up. I thought what Connor’s story also showed is that often we can make the mistake of thinking that when we show compassion we’re giving something to someone else. But a lot of the time we receive something back that is far greater. I guess it’s easy to look around and thing about everything we don’t have. It can be hard keeping up sometimes…latest phone, the most fashionable clothes, or the latest must have item. But when we encounter something like Connor, when we show compassion we’re reminded of all that we do have. All the small stuff that’s all too easy to overlook. So as a school community, and individually what are our opportunities to show compassion? What are the situations that we can make a difference just by turning up? And what might we receive in return when we show...
The Story of the Teacher

The Story of the Teacher

A teacher stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, without saying anything he picked up a very large and empty jar and proceeded to fill it with some table tennis balls balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up some sweets and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The sweets rolled into the open areas between the balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The teacher next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’ He then produced two bottles of juice from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.. ‘Now,’ said the teacher as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The table tennis balls are the important things—-your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favourite passions—-and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The sweets are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.. The sand is everything else—-the small stuff. ‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the sweets or the table tennis balls. The same...
Children’s Talk: Stronger Together

Children’s Talk: Stronger Together

This is a simple object lesson to teach children the importance and value of the community. We are stronger together and we can achieve more together than we can individually. Directions Begin by calling an older child to the front. Ask them to hold two bibles with their arms outstretched. Give them a few seconds to feel the weight and ask them if this is getting hard. The delay is key to making the task harder with fewer books. If they are ready for more, carefully place another book on the stack. Repeat this process until the books slide off or they struggle to hold the books up. Be sure to catch the books to prevent injury. Most kids will lose the balance of the books and they will slide off. Invite another child to try this “strong” test. This will work best if you choose one of the smaller/younger children. Always congratulate them for the effort, but remark how hard it must be to keep adding weight. How does it feel holding up all those books on your own? Explain the point, “There are times in life when it feels easy and everything is going to plan. Then there are other times when it feels like we are carrying the weight of the world and we struggle to keep everything together. Church is at it’s best when it’s a group of people who share and support one another. Let’s get some helpers to try our hard task together.” Invite the younger child to try the task again but this time with the older child standing behind giving support to the younger participants hands....