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[PYCL: Look for beauty in everything! Play “Take off the Bandanas. Save a Shark.]
CedarS PYCLs–Possible Younger Class Lessons for:

“Soul”
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for August 18, 2013

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041
[Bracketed inserts by Warren Huff]

[PYCL 1: Accept Love's control of the soul of all of God's creatures. Hear about shark saving!]
We are on another Synonym this week so you can add to your synonym series if you have started one.  You can begin by figuring out what makes Soul a name for God.  Why is Soul different from, for example, Spirit?  We often find Soul associated with identity, whereas Spirit is associated with individuality, but the little guys may not be able to glean much from this distinction.  So it might be more profitable to just dig into what God's identity as Soul means, and what our identity as Soul's reflection is.  Can you come up with qualities that seem especially related to Soul?   [Note that on page 9 of a 2009 MyBibleLesson.com lesson on “God” there is a list from a downloadable pdf file called “GOD has seven names” of 7 columns of “Words that may help you think about God in a new or different way”. Click on “File” in the upper right corner of this Met webpage and go to page 9 for this helpful list from the CSPS. 
[Gary Duke as this week's Family Camp Practitioner at CedarS gave a great summary of a perfect and amazing application of citation S-4 (S&H 514:28) as printed in a April 19, 2010 CS Sentinel article by William Deane called "How We Saved a Shark."  You can hear Gary's wonderful talk summarizing his story by clicking
http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/audio/play/session-6-2013-1/ ]

[PYCL 2: Look for beauty in everything and think of something spiritual it represents.]
Think about why Soul is so often related to beauty.  Look together at the Golden Text and Responsive Reading along with the first section and see what it says about beauty and how we should look at natural beauty.  Is it strictly an amazing display of matter?  How can we get the most out of the beauty around us?  Talk about translating it into permanent spiritual qualities.  Then take a walk outside if possible.  It doesn't matter if you are not in a natural setting.  Look for beauty in everything around you and think of something spiritual it represents.  A plant working its way through a crack in the sidewalk or pavement might represent persistence and a desire for light/understanding.  The space between leaves as you look at the sky (negative space) might represent glimpses of Truth… ideas from Soul; a beautiful building might be representative of intelligence, home, productive Mind, and so on. This can be brought to a different level for little children.  They have a tendency to look at things around them in a very different light.  Let them find things and talk about what qualities of God they might see in an acorn or a bottle cap or whatever they find fascinating.  The universe of Soul is spiritual, but we can glimpse the spiritual more often as we practice using our Soul senses/spiritual sense at every opportunity.  You can sit down now and then to really examine something, or talk together about what ideas they might have.  This can also be done in Sunday School.   Pupils can find things within the room (or bring a box of small things from home to discuss) to think about spiritually if a walk is not going to fit into the picture.

[PYCL 3: Consider a “Bandanas of Blindness” game** label #1 human will, #2 ingratitude]
You could spend time this week with the story about Saul becoming Paul (he doesn't actually change his name in this lesson but you can mention that).  You can talk about transformation, human will (what is that?), purity of thought.  Look at the story together, many will be familiar with it, can they tell it to you?  Then look at, or explain the S&H portion of that section and talk about why it might be linked to the subject this week of Soul.  How does Soul transform us? Why does human will blind us, if not literally, then figuratively?**  And what does it mean to be blinded figuratively? ** How might we experience that kind of “blindness”?  How do we come to have our eyes “opened”?  What qualities of Soul will bring us that kind of vision?  (You can think here about what we discussed about seeing the beauty around us, noticing Soul's expression among ourselves).  Certainly you can use some personal examples of where you felt your eyes were “opened” to see something in a new, true light.  Examples are always the best!  Why does this kind of vision give us the opportunity to be transformed?  (What does transformed mean?). Are we actually recognizing a more accurate creation, or changing ourselves into something?
[**Warren’s proposed “Take off the Bandanas of Blindness” game:  Label one bandana of blindness as human will. Attach it to a volunteer pupil (or 2 if you have several pupils)  who pretend to be stubbornly set on their own plans and ask them to stumble around and say such things as: “My way of the highway!” or “Might makes right!” The bandana can come off as he or she sincerely says such things as “I love THY way of freedom, Lord, to serve Thee is my choice…” (Hymn 138); or “What will Thou have me to do?” (Saul’s words after being struck blind on the road to Damascus, B-9, Acts 9:6).  Label the second bandana of blindness as ingratitude. Attach it to a volunteer or 2 who pretend to be ungratefully ignoring all the good around them with complaints like: “I don’t have enough of _____ or enough of ­­­­­­_________!” or “It’s all the fault of ______ !” The bandana can come off as each one says with sincerity such things as “Gratitude outlaws blindness to present good…” and I am especially grateful for the present good of  _______ and _______!” or “Rule out of ME all sin!” (Daily Prayer, Manual 41:23) or “The real Christian Scientist is constantly accentuating harmony in word and deed, mentally and orally….” (Mis. 206:19) And I am a real Christian Scientist eager to gratefully call everyone’s attention to the harmony of _______ and _______!”]

 [PYCL 4: Bring out dress-up clothes & labeled them w/ Soul qualities to be put on & shared.]
In a similar vein… I've noticed that there are several references to being “clothed” in this week's lesson.  Most occur in section 5 with the story of Tabitha/Dorcas, but citation S19 refers to arraying thought in “mortal vestures”.  I think that you can go somewhere with this idea of clothing thought, of “putting on” thoughts of purity, humility, unselfishness (like Tabitha), righteousness (B18), and so on.  You could bring out the dress-up clothes with the littlest kids.  They should be labeled with Soul qualities.  You can come up with these labels together and have them safety pin them onto the clothes, or just pretend.  Allow them to put on these clothes and as they do, they can tell you what things these qualities help them to do.  Do they feel better about sharing?  Do they want to be more helpful?  You get the idea.

[PYCL 5: Consider a colorful paper weaving project of Soul-inspired qualities on each strip.]
At the end of section 5 there is a brief quote from Proverbs about the virtuous woman (B20). Consider a weaving project. You can bring in pre-cut strips of colorful paper. Write or draw pictures of Soul-inspired qualities on each strip and weave them together. You can get creative and find a paper weaving project on-line, a simple basket or cone. Or you can simply take a regular sheet of construction paper, cut it in strips, length wise, about an inch or an inch and a half wide. Don't cut all the way to the end but leave them attached at one end (or both ends if you poke the scissor through to cut the strips). Then have a variety of colored strips that are loose, they can be different widths, or the same, and they can be shorter than the 11” direction of the paper but they should be at least 8”, or the width of the paper. Try this out at home; see how much trouble it might be for little hands.  My four year old can do this with some gentle help, but the littlest might get frustrated, so either do it with them/for them, or try something easier.  I love the idea of weaving, as a spiritual activity.  How can we weave our “day” together from Soul ideas?  How can we see the color, form, outline, beauty of the “tapestry” that Soul is unfolding in our lives each day?  Bring some beautiful pictures of weavings for them to see how patterns appear, shapes, colors and so on.  You can show them pictures on a smart phone or other device if you have one, as well.  Talk about what Tabitha/Dorcas did and how Peter healed her.  Why did Peter come right away to heal her?  What sorts of things did she do for others?  What did this healing demonstrate?  (You can talk about how good deeds, love, unselfishness and caring are qualities of Soul and are eternal and indestructible).  These qualities that she exemplified are not stuck in a body and do not die with a body but continue uninterrupted, eternally.  Can they tell you about where they've seen these qualities in their experience?  Maybe they can think of things their mom's or dad's have done for them or others, their teachers, or maybe they have done some work in public service or know others who have.

[PYCL 6: Illustrate purity with a jar of water… Seek a solid happiness not based on events.]
You can touch on the idea of purity.  What is it?  How is it related to Soul?  Why does the body seem like it gets in the way of seeing purely?  These guys are young and there's no need to get gritty with this.  Purity is a quality of thought.  Think about bringing in the jar of water mixed with some kind of sediment that doesn't easily dissolve — sand, or something like it.  Have them shake it up and watch it settle and talk about purity as it does this.  How can we keep our thoughts from getting “muddied up” by suggestions from the body that we are sad, hurt, sick, angry, and so on.  These are impurities, like the sand in the water, and we can keep them out of our thought by filling it up with the pure “water” of Soul.  What would happen to that little jar of water with sand if we took a big hose and poured tons of clean, fresh water into it at a good high volume?  Wouldn't all the sediment get washed out after enough water went in?  In the same way we want to flood our thought with Soul qualities until all the “sediment” of error is washed away because it is just overwhelmed with good!  This is a good opportunity to discuss happiness, a key quality of Soul, and something that is important to foster.  We can all get to thinking that we are happy or unhappy based on events or circumstances.  It is very helpful to lay a foundation of understanding that happiness is based in Soul and the purity of our thought.  We have to learn to govern our thought, to stand guard diligently over the intruding ideas that happiness is not in our control; eventually to even stand guard against the idea that happiness is based in what chemicals our body produces or doesn't produce… again, not in our control.  Happiness is secure in Soul and we are Soul's reflection, so we can access that happiness by expressing and welcoming in Soul and Soul's qualities, by seeing Soul walk among us in the beauty and grace around us. 

Have a great Sunday!

 

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