Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills

Open minds, loving hearts, helping hands


Workshop: Risk! part 1

Author Sarah Ahrens, Written Mar 21, 2017

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Several squares came together into a robot!

On Sunday March 19, children and youth explored this month’s theme of risk through two stories and two workshop stations.

After hearing some examples of risks children have taken- some with better (tastier) results than others- two stories were read to explore the theme of risk in different ways.
First was the story Perfect Square by Michael Hall.  The perfect square risks losing its perfect sides and corners to become all sorts of things- a mountain, bridge, river.  Children got to be creative with their paper squares and created a variety of artwork as you can see in the photos above and below!

The second story was the The Empty Pot by Demi.  In this story Ping (and all of the other children) is trying to grow a beautiful flower from the seed given to him by the emperor.  Despite his best efforts, nothing grows, and he chooses to bring his empty pot to the emperor to face whatever consequences await.  The emperor peruses all of the flowers brought before him before settling on Ping’s empty pot, asking Ping why he has brought an empty pot.  Ping explains his efforts to grow the flower to no avail.  The emperor then announces Ping shall be the next emperor as all of the seeds given out had been cooked and thus unable to sprout flowers, revealing Ping to be the most honest and trustworthy among the people.

The older children and youth got to write and decorate their own “courage stones” as a small token to keep in one’s pocket.  When considering a risk, one can reflect on the value written on the stone and whether the decision is in line with the value of “hope”, “love”, or “determination” as  a few examples.  Youth shared what values Ping might have considered in making his decision to go before the emperor, and also examples of other risk decisions that would relate to the courage stones they created.

What risks have you taken lately?  What values do you fall back on when deciding on whether or not to take a risk?  What risks have you taken to abide by the principles of Unitarian Universalism?

Exploring risk continues on March 26 after the time for all ages in learning about examples of people taking risks for social justice!