One of the things I loved best as a child was “dress up”. This type of play always involved delight, drama, laughter , self examination, a flurry of ideas about self-identity.
My first delight in Kindergarten was looking around the room and seeing the play house and play kitchen.
I remember so much about kindergarten, i can only wish for all children the most wonderful first experience in school. So it happened that I came upon this editorial in the NY Times and remembered again some of the wonders of that experience.http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/16/opinion/why-poor-children-cant-be-picky-eaters.html?_r=0
Here’s my letter to the editor, scroll down on the link, It’s the last one. 🙂
To the Editor:
As an educator and a parent, I was reminded of a personal experience in Caitlin Daniel’s exploration of the financial and nutritional costs of children’s food preferences.
In 1960, in a Dewey-inspired kindergarten in Southern California, I was treated to “tasting parties.” Our teacher would arrange small pieces of foods like kumquat on a plate for us to taste. The bittersweetness of the kumquat fed the idea that tasting a new food could be an adventure.
American children from cultures beyond the United States’ borders experience many flavors and nutritional boosts that their more assimilated neighbors lose. School multicultural nights and pot lucks capitalize on building community through sharing dishes from many cultures. In our family, our children asked for plantains after tasting them at school, and another mother taught me how to prepare them.
Writing about food and favorite recipes has been a staple of the whole-language curriculum, and it encourages food studies that broaden cultural awareness. Schools can and should support better nutrition, education and community building.
SARAH GERMAIN LILLY
A mural, a message, an opportunity to be a part of our community in new ways. A project that would bring people together to make a statement about who we are, our lives and our spirituality. This is what we envision as we begin. Georga Accola, Kathy Creutzburg and Sarah Lilly gathered at the wall, PSUMC’s 8th St. and Sixth avenue mural for the adventure of creating a new mural for our church community.
The church council awarded us a grant for the work and now the plans begin to take shape. Kathy is an artist who works in murals, mosaic and sculpture and has created work with Georga’s school and At-risk teens upstate.
She will work with our church community in workshops that first develop ideas for the mural and then help in it’s installation. Kathy will bring the ideas together in a design and guide us through the process. You can view some of her work at her blog http://kcreutzburg.blogspot.com/.
Georga and Kathy will lead workshops on Sundays this spring to involve our church community and Sunday dinner guests in the process. I am making connections with our youth and other youth in the area in a call for young people to contribute their ideas to the new mural,
First step: repair the wall and create a neutral surface to work from. This will require removing the existing mural, patching the wall and then putting on a “skim coat”. It looks like it’s a good time to do some regular maintenance on the wall, too. I’ll be talking with trustees on how to make that happen.
Meanwhile, I need to contact our youth and other youth groups in the area to see if we can get our surrounding community to have in put into the message of the mural. I would love your input or comments on the process.
pastel rose, blue, white crepe
lion faces under bonnets, muttering
red, yellow balloon blue
children laughing in the park
coffee hour, sanctuary and small groups
In a time when racial justice seems so hard to find, our church is looking for a way to bring neighbors in among us and reach our mission of doing justice out into the community.
I was contemplating this need recently , as I walked along 8th Street side of the church and noticed again the damage on our mural. I was thinking: “We need a project we could invite the community to work on”. The two ideas intersected in my mind, and I decided to present the idea to our Social Action group and start fleshing out a plan to recreate our mural, interfacing with the community and supporting a message geared towards racial justice and spiritual community.
Long before I became a member, I remember walking past our church and reading the creed; “Hand in hand, we the people of the Park Slope United Methodist Church,black ad white, straight and gay, old and young, rich and poor, unite as a loving community…..” I remember thinking rather cynically, “How are they going to make that happen?”
When I came through the doors, I became part of a community of like-minded souls, an oasis of kindness, sharing and focus on goodness and justice. That was 1992. Through more than 20 years of Brooklyn life, including 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy, I have learned the benefits of belonging to this intentional community.
The mural tells some of our church stories. As this blog continues, I will share the story of our new mural and its evolution. Read the rest of this entry
Nearly Half of U.S. Children Have Experienced Trauma.
This is what we’re dealing with, folks. Let me tell you, these kids need a lot of patience and consistency. There is no magic bullet. It has to be a partnership.
Light snow falling over Brooklyn.
Mother of pearl sky
Backyard junk covered with snow
how painful but necessary life can be.
Pearl sky, big snowflakes, lacy trees
your peace belies the turmoil
of human fortune.
Containers for love.
Homes are containers for love. They are where comforting, comfortable things, happen. They are the places of rest and refuge. And they are places you share with family.
Without love, they are empty places. Loneliness is being in one of these places.
Places, too, are containers for love and are never truly empty, for they are containers for God=love.
When a family moves to a new place, they move their love into the new home.
When you experience it, God’s love is present throughout the places in the world. The globe is a container for God’s love.
Your parent’s love for you, yours for your children, your beloved, are all expressions of God’s love. Without God’s love, none of these could exist. Is the act of expressing, bringing into being, not loving?
Giving, understanding, helping, are all loving.
Yet all places can also be empty, if love is not perceived there. Stay open to the presence of God.