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PYCLs: Share gratitude for unique identity in meaningful, appreciated ways!
Possible Younger Class Lesson ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

for Sunday, November 19, 2023

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, of House Springs, MO • 314-406-0041

PYCL #1: Learn the gratitude song! Here’s a link to Erin William’s sweet recording on the “CedarS Round the Year” CD of camp songs. (To hear it free at this Spotify link, you’ll need to either give your email address or log in.) It can also be found on the Solo Committee’s CD “Three steps and a bounce”. You can make it a little more simple and straightforward when you teach the children. See if they can sing it in a round by the end of class! The words are: “Thank you for this perfect day. Truth and Love point out the way. Calm and exalted each morning I pray. Thank you for this perfect day.” See if you can spark their interest in learning this with enough confidence to lead their gathering at the Thanksgiving table in a round for grace! If they don’t think they can remember, you could record all of you singing, either in a round, or not, and then send them a recording (parent’s phones or theirs if they have them) so they can share on Thanksgiving.

PYCL #2: Put together a gratitude sharing for Thanksgiving day.

Whether the children want to share their gratitude for Love/Truth/Life–God–in the Thanksgiving service, or share it quietly with their family, this is a great opportunity to share ideas about what it means to be grateful. Where does our good come from? We can be grateful for our mom and dad, for all the love they give and so on, but where does their love come from, where does the good they share with you come from? All our good comes from God. It is an infinite fountain of good. It overflows to our mom and dad, as well as to everyone in the world! You can show them some video of really big natural springs, where the water bubbles up in floods, day and night. God’s goodness is like that only more!

Prepare a short sharing of gratitude, either for Church or for their family, or for anyone. If they find it more fun, you can record their sharing on your phone and send it to their parents later. Have them practice it, even pretend using a microphone, holding it the proper distance from their mouth.

What does a good gratitude sharing include? Can we come up with something specific to be grateful for, like “I’m grateful to my mom because she reads me stories every night”, rather than “I’m grateful for my mom and dad”. (Nothing wrong with that though either!) It’s cool if they grasp the idea of God, or Love being reflected by mom and dad, so they can express their gratitude to God for _____. Ultimately, if they can just express their gratitude, that’s amazing and wonderful, this would just be to refine things if they are excited by the idea.

PYCL #3: Create a gratitude book.

Have each student start a gratitude book. This should be a nice little book (you can buy them next week since this PYCL is late, and copy this week’s into the notebooks next week). They can thoughtfully add something specific each week to this book during Sunday School. They can illustrate it too if they want, or if that is a good use of time in class. Then, they can wrap them as Christmas presents to give to whoever at Christmas time. Explain that this will be a gift, then each week can be something specific to the person or people that they are grateful to. You really don’t have to buy anything. Just make small books from folded paper and staples or sewing thread if you want to be fancy. It only needs 6-12 pages to fill if they are writing one statement of gratitude and adding a picture on the facing page (then it would be 12 pages). There are only 6 classes left before Christmas. You can cover the front and back of the book with Christmas wrapping paper if you want to be fancy!

PYCL #4: Take turns describing each other, or selves if they are too silly.

Describe each other in class by turn. Like I said, if they are too silly for that, have them describe themselves. Give them free reign. Afterwards ask them if, when they close their eyes and can’t see someone, maybe someone they never met before, they could describe them, if they got to know them? Which description is more accurate, the one that describes someone’s looks or the one that describes what they are like. What is the difference between these descriptions?

This week’s lesson helps us to understand more about what identity is. Look together at citation S4/477:19-2 (if the children are older). The question asks about “body” and “soul”. The answer talks about identity. What does “identity” mean? Is it our physique? When we close our eyes and think about who we are, do we think about what we look like, or who we are?

PYCL #5: Bring in dolls or maybe stuffed animals.

This is just what you may have at home, don’t go out and buy these. Discuss what our bodies really are. What are we supposed to do with them, think about them? In S8/208:25-29 A we are told that a material body expresses a mortal mind. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, don’t make them think of it as evil. But we can “impress” on this body good thoughts that help it along! Another way to helpfully think of the body is like a doll. We take care of it. We brush its teeth and hair–maybe…We put it to bed and feed it. We exercise it, have fun! We give it a bath. This is where the dolls come in but are not essential. You can talk about how we might do this to a doll, but in our case it is a body. We think loving thoughts about our body, we are kind, thoughtful, and we don’t ignore it or treat it badly. But it is not who we are! We might enjoy thinking about our body this way when we are brushing our teeth morning and night. Say “goodmorning” or “goodnight body”. And we can even express gratitude for having it carry us around during that day. See where this exercise takes you. Can you find that you are not your body, but you are actually an inseparable idea of Love?

Have a great week in Sunday School!













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