“It is incumbent upon each one of you to engage in some occupation – such as a craft, a trade or the like. We have exalted your engagement in such work to the rank of worship of the one true God.” – Bahá’u’lláh
As we grow up, we each become engaged in different kinds of work and make an effort to learn the skills and abilities, knowledge and qualities, we need to serve. Be it as a farmer, a doctor, a teacher, a scientist, a musician, or a factory worker. You too, will need to think about how you will contribute to the welfare of society as you grow older.
With this introduction, the children then brainstormed some ideas of possible occupations and specifically, what professions they would like to carry out – we had it all, from zoo keeper, to fashion designer, to ornithologist – there are sooo many options out there! 🙂
Our craft/art activity was inspired by today’s story on calligraphy. During the time of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the children in ‘Akka were taught to do calligraphy. One boy found it very hard to concentrate and patiently practice it, as he would rather go out and play. One day, he used all his willpower to perservere and produced a beautiful piece of calligraphy, so when it came around to showing his work to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, he received praise for it and was the happiest boy in the world. But the following week, he hadn’t produced any more work to present and thought if he would show the same piece again, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá surely wouldn’t remember… But of course He did and commented on the fact how closely this piece matched the one he showed last week…
We noticed that doing calligraphy takes a lot of patience, perseverance and care – and probably a lot of practice to become good at it. The perfect exercise in endurance and excellence 😉
We used the letters of the P22 Ruthie typeface to trace our names and practice a little calligraphy – everyone did an amazing job! wohoo!
Today’s lesson was about service – and how we need to work hard and make an effort every day for the benefit of humanity. Taking ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as the perfect Example, we see how there is no time to be idle (or bored!).
Waste not your time in idleness and sloth. Occupy yourselves with that which profiteth yourselves and others. – Bahá’u’lláh
We read a beautiful story in the context of ‘selfless service’ –
There was a man in Haifa who disliked ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Whenever he saw the Master, he crossed the street to avoid Him. Finally, one day he approached ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and said, ‘So You are called the Servant of God.’ ‘Yes,’ said ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘that is my name.’ ‘Well,’ said the man proudly, ‘I am Moses.’ Very well, Moses,’ said ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘meet Me at this corner at seven o‘clock in the morning tomorrow and we will go and serve the people like the great Moses did.’ The man agreed and when they met the next morning, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá took him on His routine of serving the unfortunates, helping the poor and needy, consulting with people and giving counsel. At six o‘clock that evening when they returned to the spot where they had started, he was extremely weary. ‘Remember, Moses,’ said ‘Abdu’l-Bahá before they parted, ‘I‘ll meet you here tomorrow morning at seven o‘clock.’ Again they met the following morning and again ‘Abdu’l-Bahá took the man through His regular work. Returning at six o‘clock that evening the man was very tired. Sternly, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá told him, ‘Remember, Moses, tomorrow morning I‘ll meet you here.’ They met the third morning and again ‘Abdu’l-Bahá took him through His regular work day. When they returned that evening, the man was exhausted. As they parted, the man said, ‘‘Abdu’l-Bahá, tomorrow morning I will no longer be Moses.’
As a craft we made some lovely little bird-feeders – reminding ourselves, that we can extend our service to include the animal kingdom too 🙂 Cut out from egg-cartons, decorated and attached with some string, they hand in the trees, full of breadcrumbs for the birds to feed on!
We skipped the drama for this lesson, as we spent more time practicing our prayer for this set. Writing it out on in parts on little pieces of paper, we distributed them around the room – walking from piece to piece we recited line to line – until the children new the whole prayer off by heart without using the words – WELL DONE!!!! 🙂
We had a wonderful end-of-term class today! As our lessons are all about service, we’ve finished off with a few projects: weeding the veggie-beds at Ko Te Aroha, making pikelets for everyone and creating some beautifully decorated crowns, for all these wonderful acts of service the children completed. It’s been a wonderful term, and we wish everyone a happy break over the school holidays. We’ll be back after Labour weekend, end of October. Ka kite!
That one indeed is a man who, today, dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race. –Bahá’u’lláh
Lesson 16 is the first one in Set 6 – all lessons in this set are about Service. And this first one focuses on ‘serving God by serving His loved ones’…
We started to brainstorm some ideas of what sort of service we could do, as a group/class: baking & sharing the food, reading stories to the younger children class, gardening around Ko te Aroha, and cleaning up the neighbourhood streets – were just a few of the ideas. We decided to start with the neighbourhood cleanup right away – see below – the wonderful children picking up rubbish in the streets!
We also made a start with learning the new prayer for this set of lessons – it is this one:
We decided to write the prayer up on a big hand shape – lets hope it will make memorising easier 🙂
Next week we’ll continue with our lesson on service (as we didn’t quite get to finish) – more service projects are planned too, we’ll do some baking, read stories for the younger children and if the weather is nice, make a start with the gardening too. That will also conclude the classes for this term – so hope to see you all there!
“That one indeed is a man who. today, dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race.” – Bahá’u’lláh
We had a cosy class in the kitchen of the community centre today 🙂 Our theme was servcie, and while we thought of doing some baking or cooking for family and friends as a service project, we might keep that activity for a later class…
After some prayers to start out lesson with, we sang Stefan Brown’s song called ‘Service (with a smile)’. It was such a fun way to get going!
Then the children memorised our quote of the day:
“That one indeed is a man who, today, dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race…”
Even though there are a few quite tricky words in there, they all learnt it really quickly, after we broke it down into smaller groups. Well done everyone!
Our craft activity for the lesson was to create little cards with ‘service pledges’ on them – for our families. It was great to see what kind of things the children came up with: from doing dishes, making milo or banana splits, to complete free choice of what the parent can wish for. And the beautifully decorated cards were a great sight! Fabulous!
We ended our class with a story about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Lua Getsinger. It is set in the Holy Land (Akka) where ‘Abdu’l-Bahá asks her help/service to go and visit a sick man. The man is so sick and his home in such a state, that Lua flees in fright at seeing the man so unwell and the unpleasant surroundings he lives in. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá very sternly sends her back though, saying that if the house is filthy she needs to clean it, and if the man is sick, then she needs to tend him… What a task! She of course does go back and does as she’s been asked to. Understanding that being of service is to do what is needed to make others feel better…
You can have a look at today’s lesson in pdf format here: 5_Service
See you all next week 😉