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PYCL: Illustrate the concept of "oneness" in all you share with students this week.
Possible Younger Class Lesson Ideas for Sunday School from the Christian Science Bible Lesson:

“God”
for
January 3, 2021

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, of House Springs, MO
kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com • 314-406-0041

Pycl #1: Illustrate the concept of "oneness" in all you share with students this week.
Why would understanding that God is one, whole, entire, and that man is part of that wholeness, be "…the great point of departure for all true spiritual growth."? We, as teachers, can ponder how this underlies what we share with the students this week. We can think of all the ways that we can illustrate the concept of "oneness" and all the ways this is illustrated in our lesson this week.

Try using a drinking straw to illustrate the idea of a drop of water being "one with the ocean". (SH 361:16-18, Hymn 524 is also a sweet one to share if you are feeling musical! or just share the lyrics!) Have a clear glass of water and using a drinking straw you dip some of the straw into the water, press your finger over the top of the straw and show that there is some water inside the straw. If you just dip a short bit of the straw you are more likely to have just a drop or two of water, which makes the illustration more effective, I think. If the children have these materials at home (if doing this on the internet), they can join you in doing this activity, if not, just do it over the computer screen. Hold the straw above the glass and discuss the drop that is hanging onto the straw. Is it a separate drop? Sure it is! When you put it in the water glass is it still a drop? Sure! But is it also "one" with the water? Yes!

You can also discuss the sunbeam and the sun. Illustrate this by holding a flashlight beam above a dark surface. The beam extends to that surface and then you see it shining on that surface. If you stick a piece of cardboard between the beam and that surface, the light then shines on the cardboard, but it is not "cut off" from the flashlight by the cardboard!! In the same way we are always connected to God, our source of life, joy, health and so on. We cannot be cut off from God by distance, by matter. We can feel cut off, but we cannot be, any more than you can separate out that drop of water from the glass, or separate the light from its source!

Pycl #2: Share how synonyms point to different aspects of God's nature, like parts of your body do different things but are all part of "you". Click to play the “Synonym song” I wrote, and maybe sing along. "Synonyms song" by Kerry Jenkins, CS mp3 – CedarS Camps
I have been trying to think about activities that will translate better for the younger ones over Zoom. One thought I had this week was to work with a song that many of them might already know as "head shoulders knees and toes''. If you don't know this song and its accompanying movements here is a link that will help you learn it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuqvGiZi0qg, it is repeated several times here to help you learn it if needed! Now, thinking in terms of who God is this week, the oneness, the unity of quality and creation, you can start some work with the definition from Science and Health in section 1/S1/ p.465: 8-12 (to 3rd . ).

Use the synonyms instead of body parts, but use the same gestures. I know it's not perfect, but it would get the kids moving, and memorizing synonyms! So maybe something like this: "Mind, Spi-rit, Love and Truth, Love and Truth—Mind, Spi-rit, Love and Truth, Love and Truth, and Soul, and Prin-ci-ple, and Life, Mind, Spirit, Love and Truth, Love and Truth!" Then, if it feels right to you, you could share the thought that all these synonyms point to different aspects of God's nature, kind of like parts of your body do different things but are all part of "you". (They certainly aren't "you", but they represent spiritual qualities and you can go into that more deeply with older children). But, simply put, you can draw a connection between the idea of wholeness and oneness of God, the synonyms, and your body and parts! You could continue this as a weekly activity when we get to the subjects that are based on the synonyms too.

Pycl #3: How does what you know about Christ Jesus (& his seamless robe) show about your oneness with God?
This is a detail that probably doesn't count as a Pycl, but I think these things can be interesting and fun to share if your students are interested. Jesus was known to have a seamless robe. This was the kind of robe that would only have been worn by a high priest. It was a valuable and rare thing. We do not know where his special robe came from. It seems likely that it was given to him by one of his followers, I'm guessing, in gratitude for his works. Explain and illustrate how clothing mostly is sewn together at seams. That all cloth in those days was woven on a loom, and would normally have had a beginning and ending, would have had pieces sewn together by hand. You can show this over Zoom or in person by looking together at a shirt or sweater or something where the seam is obvious.

In citation S2/267:5-6, 25-27 we are told that: "God is one. The allness of Deity is His oneness. The robes of Spirit are "white and glistering," like the raiment of Christ." The wholeness or oneness of his robe seems like a perfect symbol for the oneness and wholeness of God and His creation. Think about the valuable nature of this robe. Is the Christ a valuable part of our life? What role or value does the knowledge that Jesus gave us about man and God play in our experience. To put it more simply for children: how is what you know about Christ Jesus adding to your daily life? How does his life show us more about our oneness with God? If you look together at the Responsive Reading (and lots of places in this lesson really!) you can see that there are so many ways that God's oneness and wholeness contribute to our sense of safety and joy. Just one example from the Responsive Reading: "The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth." We really only feel this nearness when we grasp His oneness/wholeness/Allness. There are no "weak spots" in our relationship with God, no "seams" that might tear apart, etc.

Pycl #4: Check out the story of Jesus healing the man by the pool in cit. B19/John 5:1, 5-9.
I love that Jesus asks the man if he wants to be "whole"!! Isn't that what he was really looking for? He tells Jesus that he has "no man" to put him in the water for its supposed healing power. This is a man who is not whole, is separate from God, in "need" of something outside of himself to "fix" this situation. Isn't that at the root of all challenges?

Don’t all challenges arise from the false claim that we are separate from God and stuck "without what we need" for health, whether it is a badly or non-functioning organ, a tough family situation, lack of money, or something else. We are being told that we are not whole, we need something "outside" of ourselves. But if we accept even a little bit, that we are one with the Allness of God we have all we need within (in that kingdom within that Christ Jesus told us about).

We are not "on our own" in a material body and existence that is separate from God. This can also be really helpful when we are not getting along with someone. If we can begin to accept that we are not a separate mind from the one Mind, then we cannot be offended, angry or hurt by another seemingly "separate" mind! We can freely move forward in our relationships as we gain more facility with understanding that we are not separate competing minds, but one with Mind. What benefits one, benefits all. Think about this in relation to the story of the man at the pool.

Discuss together what kinds of thoughts might that man have had while waiting there for THIRTY-EIGHT years?!!! Maybe he saw others getting help and felt really envious, or angry. Maybe he blamed his family, resented his big brother for abandoning him, or blamed God for "creating" him with this defect? Maybe he blamed himself and thought that he was a real loser because he didn't have anyone to help him…You get the idea. Where do these thoughts come from? Have you ever thought them? Are they based in feeling separate from God, from any kind of helpful power?

Pycl #5: Make clear the blessing of obeying Jesus’s command to "Call no man your father upon the earth; for one is your Father, which is in heaven." Cit. B23/Mat. 23:1, 9 call.
Part of true oneness is understanding that God is the one creator. We are just coming off of two weeks of Bible lessons that promoted the understanding of man's spiritual source, especially with the stories of Jesus and his cousin John the Baptist. I found Section 6 to be revolutionary in the way it serves us today. Mankind has always struggled with the challenges of heredity, but today maybe even more commonly and openly, we struggle to be free from the burdens associated with the limitations of our parentage and upbringing. This is more of an older student subject. Many of us are blessed with great parents for sure, those doing their best, etc.— but many more have seemingly troubled present lives that they attribute to their parentage and upbringing.

Regardless of the fact that Jesus was a special case, he did point us to accepting the same freedom he experienced in this department for ourselves! "Call no man your father upon the earth; for one is your Father, which is in heaven." (Cit. B23/Mat. 23:1, 9 call.) Why? Why should we only look to God as our parent? Because God is the perfect source, (source of wholeness). Not for being intellectually or physically superior, but the source for all intelligence, creativity, joy, grace, strength—independent of matter and its limitations.

Therapy can give us useful tools to cope with the limitations of a flawed material upbringing. Oneness with God, demonstrated daily, gives us the healing power to act independently of these material "laws". It may seem like small steps at first, but as we push these barriers, daily claiming our freedom from them, we find more peace and joy in daily being.

And we find that family strife has less hold over us, and we have more positive influence over the direction that these relationships take. I'm not saying any of this is super easy. But it isn't complicated either. It requires paying attention daily and a willingness to give up strong opinions and positions. We might be the only one willing to do this in any given family, but that does not make our demonstration of oneness less powerful or influential!

With the youngers, I think we can talk about what Jesus says about calling God our only Father. What did he mean?
What about the Commandment to "honor thy father and thy mother"?
Are they contradictory?
Why do we have families if God is our only Father/Mother?

I think families are the way that God provides us with a sense of belonging, love, importance, devotion. These are qualities that are directly from God, but are manifest through moms and dads. This is how, in its best iteration, we learn the love of God. If we are fortunate enough to feel that special love from our families it is easier for us to take to the next level and get glimpses of God's even more amazing love for us. Can the students name some ways that they feel their oneness with Love/Life/Mind etc.?

Have a great week in Sunday School!! And a happy, new year!!

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