Welcome to the blog of the Enough for Everyone program of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). By "just living" we mean both justice-based living and just simply living – freeing ourselves from the clutter of stuff so we can focus on living faithfully and living well. Join us in the exploration!
About the Author
Bryce Wiebe coordinates Enough for Everyone, a ministry of the Presbyterian Hunger Program. He loves slow food and is fascinated by the way things are made. He is excited to dive into experiments in simplicity with you. His sacred cow of consumption: kitchen gadgets.
General Children Sermon on Fair Trade
Needs: you can use most any object: a pencil or play money provide certain advantages. If possible you may want to have fair trade products available, too. Also, an object would not be necessary.
The point of the lesson is to demonstrate how we need to "see" one another in order to share and meet the needs of one another.
Good morning kids! How many of you have ever been taught to share? When we have more than we need of something, and others need it, then we have an opportunity to share. Jesus taught his friends that they were to give the things that they have to people in need, but sometimes it isn't so easy. I need you all to stand up and stand in a straight line. Get really close and in a nice straight line facing the wall.
(have the kids front to back facing a side wall. It's best to have a younger, shorter child in the very front. Ask the child in the back if they can see the child in the front. If you don't know, ask the names of the children as you do this so that you can say their names aloud as you continue to engage).
[Name of child in the back] can you see [Name of child in the front].
(They shouldn't be able to – if they can, you can ask them how much of the child they can see, and if they see them well. Continue up the line several kids or all of them, asking if they see the child in the front)
If using an object, you can insert the following:
Now, [name of child in the back], you have this pencil, and you need it to get to [name of child in the front] but you can't move from your line. How will you get it to her?
(likely they will pass it forward. You may allow it to go all the way if you like)
Now, how about we try it again, but this time, [name of one of the middle children] doesn't want to pass it. Well there's no way to get the pencil to [front child]. Well, now [middle child] says he will pass it, but he wants to keep half of it for himself.
(break the pencil if that's what you're using. You may add more steps where children take parts of the pencil or object or money if you like)
By the time you get to the front, there isn't much left for [front child]. But how about we try something different. Let's try to stand in a circle.
(shepherd them to a circle)
Now we stand side by side in a circle and [back child] can you see [front child]? You can! And if you needed to get her this pencil then you could just toss it across (or hand it across the circle if the circle is small enough). In a circle like this you can see one another and talk to one another and ask for the things you need. I work for a group that talks about Fair Trade. Fair Trade is a little bit like this circle. It allows people who buy things, like coffee, and chocolate, and pottery; people like you and me or your parents, to form friendships with the people that make and grow those things. We can "see" one another a little more clearly. We can be friends and share with people on the way far other side of the world because we take out all things that block us from seeing each other, and see the person who makes the pencil to begin with. When we can see one another, we can share the resources we have more easily with our new friends. Fair trade is like this circle. Fair trade makes sure that we see all of the struggles and needs of the people who make and grow the coffee, or chocolate, or pottery, so that we can agree on a way to make sure the money they receive is fair. We want to share. Fair Trade helps us to share, just like Jesus taught his friends.
Dear God, thank you for teaching us to share. Help us to see the things that make it difficult for our friends all over the world. Help us to remove the different things that keep us from see one another, so that we can know each other better, and learn how to share our very best. Amen