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Happy Ayyam-i-Há!

Our last class was a celebration of Ayyam-i-Há – the intercalary days between the 18th and 19th (last) month in the Bahá’í calendar. A time of joy, hospitality, charity and gift-giving – yay!

We had prayers, songs and morning tea and then played games (egg & spoon and 3-legged races…) and face (and arm!) painting – what wonderful artists we have amongst our children!

Thanks for everyone in participating and to Lily for the beautiful basket full of surprises for every child to take home! Have a happy, joyous time!

See you all next week for our regular classes again 🙂

“O Friend! In the garden of thy heart plant naught but the rose of love…”

Today we learnt about ‘LOVE’ – the kind of love that is showered on all people, whether we know them or not. We talked about how we could show love to people that we don’t even know, a stranger we pass on the street, or a new child a school. “Give ’em a grin, be kind!” “Go talk to them, and get to know them…” were some of the answers from the children in our classes.

With another 5 new children attending, we still had quite a small group and kept the two older classes together. We read a story about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, who was subject to hatred by a man for years and years. And all ‘Abdu’l-Bahá would show him was kindness, supported him with food, clothes and even a doctor and medicine when he was sick – until finally that man’s heart changed.

To make the memorisation of today’s quote (see the title of this blog post) more ‘memorable’ 🙂 we decorated cups and planted some seeds. Hopefully, through lots of attention, watering and sunshine, they will grow into beautiful ‘roses’ of love (or in our case poppies)….

We closed the children’s class session with singing (‘E te Atua’ and ‘Tu tiro mainga iwi’) and prayers – one of the children shared a lovely karakia that he knew from school. Thank you everyone!





Lesson 4 : Love

“O Friend! In the garden of thy heart plant naught but the rose of love…” A favourite with our children, this quote has already been memorised well. So we started straight into a story about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. It’s the one from Ruhi Book 3 – where ‘Abdu’l-Bahá shows love and kindness to a man for 24 years, even though that man hates Him, thinks He is bad, and wishes Him ill… through ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s tireless love and support the man finally comes to see, that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is not bad and that his own hatred only blinded him.

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We used some pre-cut flowershapes as our base and finger-painted them to carry our quote of the day. The children enjoyed the very tactile experience with great abandon! 😉

We sang various songs from the 15 lessons in Ruhi Book 3, while colouring the picture on ‘Love’ from the beautifully illustrated ‘The Virtues’ activity book by Cindy Pacileo. It was a morning filled with love and joy indeed!

Bake-off time :: Christchurch, those cookies are coming!!!

After lots of flour, sugar, mixing, rolling, cutting, icing (and some tasting) – we are happy to announce, the cookies are ready! Two ice-cream containers full to the top with Gingerbread hearts and Swiss Mailänderlis – yum! They’ll be going to Wellington on the train with me in the morning – wohooooo!

And decorating the boxes….

Christchurch – our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with you…! Kudos to all at The Great Sunday Bake-off – you go guys!!!

Next Sunday we’ll get back to our regular children’s class lessons – see you all there 🙂

Lesson 19 : Love

‘O Friend! In the garden of thy heart plant naught but the rose of love…”

Love was the theme for today’s class – the first one back after the school holidays. It’s a repeat of lesson 4, with slightly different activities. As recommended by the Ruhi curriculum, we are repeating each lesson 2 to 3 times. It helps with really instilling the core themes taught and virtues learned.

And once again, the children were superfast with memorising the quote for today. Most of them remembered it from the previous time – well done!

For our craft activity we decorated flower pots and then planted some seeds – not quite roses, but beautiful sunflowers, zinias and calendulas.

…with lots of care, sunshine and watering, we’re hoping to see these little seeds turn into some beautiful blossoms soon 🙂

The little flags, the children made, contain the quote for today’s lesson, to remember that we only let seeds of love germinate in the gardens of our hearts.

Then we read the story of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Akká, where He is loving and caring to a man who shows him no kindness at all. For 24 years this goes on, until ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s endless love changes this man’s heart (p22-23 Ruhi Book 3).

We finished today’s lesson with the song ‘Love, love, love’ – for which you can find the lyrics here

Please note: no class next Sunday 24 October – as we’re all at the Children’s and Junior youth Camp in Kaitoke -yay! See you all in two weeks, 31 October (it’s Halloween, come dressed up if you like…).

Lesson 17 : Pure, kind & radiant heart

This must be one of my favourite lessons 🙂 it is based on lesson 2 in Ruhi Book 3, and we’ve gone through it before. The children needed very little prompting to remember the quote for today’s lesson:

“O Son of Spirit! My first counsel is this: possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart.”

We changed the craft slightly too – painting beautiful hearts – pure, kind and radiant ones – but then stringing them up, instead of using them as magnets. We loved the way they look, when we wrote the words first with oil crayons, and then painted over with a water based paint – the brightly colourful results are gorgeous!

 (the lovely ‘heart-mobiles’ and their makers 🙂 )

For today’s story, we used an ‘old’ book I had from my parents, called ‘The Scottish Visitors’ – a story about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s visit to London. It’s beautifully illustrated, and the story suits age groups from 5 to 12 alike!

We finished the class by playing the game ‘Burning thirst’ (Ruhi book 3, page 18). Sticks are tied to childrens’ arms – to prevent them bending their elbows – and they pretend to have walked in the desert and are very thirsty. A glass of water is given to them and they have to try and drink it (only works if they work together and hold it for each other). 🙂

And then sang Stefan Brown’s song on ‘kindness’. Always a favourite of everyone in class. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday everyone and see you next week, which will be the last class of this term (19th September).

Lesson 14 : God’s love – our stronghold

….after some beautifully read prayers by the children, we started our lesson today by discussing what a ‘stronghold’ is: Castle, houses, safe places, mosquito nets, moats… a whole lot of ideas came up. 🙂 We then looked at today’s quote by Bahá’u’lláh, where the word ‘stronghold’ came from:

“O Son of Being! My love is My stronghold; he that entereth therein is safe and secure, and he that turneth away shall surely stray and perish.” 

Does that mean, by having God’s love in our hearts, we are safe and secure, like in a stronghold/a castle/a safe place…? We certainly think so. And because God’s love is with us no matter where we are, we felt that is definitely a comforting thought.

Our craft for today was making a House of Peace, a stronghold, where we can be safe and happy – have a look at the busy work of the children (you can download a pdf of the house craft here if you’d like to replicate it):

 (sorry, I forgot the camera again – the mobile phone pics are just a bit blurry….)

After crafts, we read the story about the 3 little Fish, from Ruhi Book 3 – always a favourite with the children, and then finished off with singing “Blessed is the spot” again. Even our youngest participant, really got into the music part of class 🙂

See the whole lesson here – or check them out on the Lesson Page, where you’ll find all pdfs. Have a fabulous week everyone and see you next Sunday!

Lesson 4 : Love, love, love

What a fabulous class we had today! We learnt about love – and how it is always better to show love towards other people, even if they are not treating us kindly. To memorise the quote for the lesson we used a series of pictures. Amazing how quickly all the children picked it up and new it off by heart within a few minutes!

Picture 1 : “In the garden”   Picture 2: “of thy heart”   Picture 3: “plant naught”  Picture 4: “but the rose”    Picture 5: “of love”

We then made some ‘roses of love’ out of crepe, tissue paper and pipecleaners, and scented them with essence (it was frangipani, I was fresh out of rose :)…)

We finished the class with a story about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Akka and some colouring in.

Todays class went so quickly. We can’t wait for next week! See you all then 🙂

Lesson of today in pdf format – 4_Love

Oh and of course, the song we learnt today – Love Love Love – Lyrics and Have a listen to the song

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