Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills

Open minds, loving hearts, helping hands


New Year’s Resolutions and Letting Our Light Shine

Author Sarah Ahrens, Written Jan 16, 2017

Children’s Chapels on January 1 and 8 explored making new year’s resolutions that are in alignment with our Unitarian Universalist values.  There were several stories for inspiration.

The time for all ages on January 8 was a brief anecdote from the life of Malala Yousafzai.  To briefly recap, when Malala was growing up, she loved watching tv show where the main character could use a magic pencil to draw anything and make it real.  One day when Malala went to throw out some garbage at the local landfill, she saw other young children there as well- though not throwing out trash, instead they were picking through it, collecting items that Malala’s father later told her they hoped to sell for a little money. Malala wished she had a magic pencil to make the lives of those children better.  However, she did take a real pencil and write a prayer to God to give her the courage to help others. Malala has gone on to do just that through not only pursuing her own education but helping many other girls get the education they are denied in many parts of the world.

In the book Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution, we accompany Squirrel as he tries to figure out what should be his new year’s resolution.  As he goes from animal to animal to figure it out, he ends up helping each one in a different way- finally realizing her resolution is to help others each day!

Finally, The Stars Will Still Shine, is a reminder of the good things that will continue to happen in the new year- flowers will bloom, love will be strong, there will be grace, there will be light in every dark place.

With these stories in mind, children wrote and decorated their own candles, noting how they will let their light shine.  Of course we sang This Little Light of Mine to go with it all.
As January’s theme is prophecy, we remember it is within our power to make change in the world, just as Squirrel and Malala did in following through on their respective resolutions.