Scripture: Isaiah 9: 2-7
Memory Verse: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9 (NRSV)
· God has a plan for peace.
· Jesus came to earth to teach us about peace.
· Jesus is the Prince of Peace.
· God wants us to work for peace and fairness.
· The children will learn that Jesus is the Prince of Peace and that they can be peacemakers.
· The children will experience peacemaking by:
1. Writing letters to families in Bosnia.
2. Learning something about another culture by cooking and eating a Bosnian treat.
Welcome and Introductions:
1. Greet the children and introduce yourself.
2. Explain the purpose of this workshop: Today we are going to practice two forms of peacemaking. One way of making peace between different people is for people to learn about each other. Today we’re going to learn something about people in Bosnia, in Eastern Europe, by cooking and eating something that they like to eat. (It would be helpful to show them Bosnia on a map or globe.)
Open your Bible to Isaiah 9 to show the children the passage. Remind them that the book of Isaiah is in the Old Testament because it was written before the time of Jesus. Start with some background:
Isaiah lived more than 700 years before Jesus. At that time Israel had been under the rule of a king named Ahaz, who had not obeyed God’s law. He had allowed people to be mistreated, he cooperated with nations that wanted to conquer Israel, and he had allowed idols to be put in the Temple. In this passage, Isaiah wrote about his hope for a new king of Israel who would rule wisely and try hard to obey God. Later, after Jesus came, Jesus’s followers looked back at what Isaiah had written and realized that it was a very true description of Jesus more true than it could be of any ordinary human king.
Read verses 6-7 to the children. Emphasize that Jesus is called “the Prince of Peace” and that his “peace will last forever...he will always rule with honesty and justice.” This tells us that God’s plan is for a world of peace and justice (fairness). Jesus taught us that we need to do what we can to bring peace to the world.
1. Pass out paper, pencils and markers. Explain that one way to help bring about peace in the world is for people in different countries to communicate with each other, and for people to help other people who have suffered because of war. Several years ago there was a very bad war in Bosnia. A lot of people were killed and many many people’s homes and businesses were destroyed. People in Bosnia are still finding it very hard to get jobs or go to school and to get the things they need to live.
People here at the Kirk have learned about four particular families in Bosnia who are having a hard time. These families lost one or both parents during the war. Recently we sent some money to these four families, and they wrote to thank us. Now we are going to send letters and pictures back to these families, tell them a little bit about ourselves and let them know that we care about them and want to be their friends.
I’m going to read you some parts of two of their letters, and while I’m reading, you choose one of these families to write to, and think about what you can say to them. You might tell them something about yourself and you might respond to some of the things they say in their letters. If you prefer, you can draw a picture instead of writing.
Older Children: Consider handing out copies of the letters so they can read along with you and refer back to the letters when they write.
Younger Children: Adults can serve as scribes for children who want help writing their letters. For those who choose to draw a picture, encourage them to write some sort of greeting on it, or to let you write for them.
All Children: Read the letters out loud. Point out things that the children could respond to such as:
· three of the letters tell how distressed the Bosnians are about the terrorist attacks in America (these letters from the Bosnians are their form of peacemaking). The children could thank the letter writers for their concern for Americans.
· Several letters tell about the weather. Tell about the weather here.
· Several mention children starting school. Wish them well in their classes. Tell them something about your school.
· They all thank us for the money we sent. Tell them we are glad our church is able to help a little bit.
· One talks about how hard life is in Bosnia. Tell them you hope the economy gets better and life gets easier for them.
· One letter mentions baptism. Tell them we baptize children in our church too.
After you read each letter, let children choose which family to write to. Try to encourage an equal number of responses to each family. If children get stuck for ideas, encourage them to tell something about themselves their grade in school, brothers and sisters and pets, favorite activities, etc. They could tell about cooking the Bosnian dish. If they would like to use a greeting in Serbo-Croation, they can begin their letters “Dragi _______.”
When the food is cooked, serve it to the children and let them eat while writing their letters. Give the shepherds copies of the recipe to put in the children’s journals. They won’t write in their journals since they are writing letters instead. If you have given them copies of the letters from the Bosnians, they can put those in their journals as a memento as well.
Prayer: Tell the children you are going to pray for the families they’ve written to. Ask for suggestions of things to say in the prayer. Close with a prayer that includes the children’s suggestions.
Alternative: Tell the children to think of one thing they would like to ask God to do for the families. Introduce the prayer with: “God, please be with our friends in Bosnia and give them the help they need. We ask these things for them...” Then go around the room and have each child name the thing they have thought of. End with “Amen.”
Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to collect letters and help clean up the mess from cooking and eating.
When the class is ready to go, explain that in the different workshops they are learning different symbols for peace, so you are giving them some information on one of the world’s oldest peace symbols. As they leave, give them a copy of the handout on the olive branch. Younger children: Suggest that they read it with their parents.
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Read the scripture passages.
2. Make copies of the olive branch handout.
3. Optional: Make copies of the letters for the children’s use. If you would like a soft copy so you can customize the letter selection for each class, contact Robin. If you don’t give the children copies of the letters, display the names of the people they will be writing to.
4. Purchase supplies for cooking and submit voucher with receipt to CE Children. If you are shopping for your workshop and for your personal groceries at the same time, please get workshop supplies on a separate receipt.
5. Set up for cooking:
6. Display the memory verse on the white board or elsewhere in the room.
7. If you are not giving the children copies of letters from Bosnia, display the names of the people who wrote them somewhere in the room.
· Bible (Use CEV can borrow one from box on stage in Great Hall)
· Pencils, markers (should be in your supply bin)
· Paper (might be some in supply bin)
· Recipe ingredients
· Pans and utensils
· Plates and/or napkins for serving food.
· Copies of letters from Bosnia (optional)
· Copies of olive branch handout
· Copies of recipe for children’s journals
Pancakes, Bosnian style (from Sanja Subasic)
4 cups flour
1 cup milk
1 cup oil
Dash salt (about ˝ teaspoon)
Peach or plum jelly
Mix together flour, eggs, milk, oil and salt. Add enough water to make a thin batter. Using a ladle, pour batter onto very hot cast-iron skillet. Cook quickly on both sides. Spread with Nutella, roll up and eat. Or spread with jelly and a sprinkle of sugar.
Note: Nutella was created in 1940s in Italy during WWII chocolate shortage, is very popular throughout Europe -- according to <http://www.nutellausa.com/history.htm>
Use this letter with Hikers (1/2), Runners (1/2) and Trekkers (3)
Gordana, Jelena, and Tatjana Medic from Banja Luka write:
.Today I received $100 and I would like to thank you very much for your help. This money is going to help us a lot, especially now when I have plans for October 1, 2001 to baptize my two girls, and [my] older daughter just had a birthday and turned 18. During the [baptism] ceremony I am going to take some pictures which I will send you in the next letter.
On September Jelena and Tatjana started [a] new school year. These days here in Banja Luka, the weather is really cold and it's rainy almost every day.
One more time we thank you for your help. Hello to all children there. Warm greetings and God bless you all."
Use this letter with Trekkers (3), Adventurers (4), Flyers (5)
Bjeljac Milos from Banja Luka writes:
This is a very hard time for everybody in this world. We regret all those innocent people who died in these recent terrorist attacks in USA. We think this was not an attack on U.S. people but on people of good will all over the world. We are all witnesses of what is going on in the whole world: there are a lot of wars all over the globe that nobody likes, there are a lot of tragedies around us and there are a lot of innocent people dying for nothing. We all have to do something about it and say: “It is enough!”
After all, instead of using words such as war, hate, and unhappiness, we have to use words such as peace, love, and happiness that you and your church are doing for a long time. Because of that I would like to thank you for everything that you are doing for me.
As well, I would like to inform you that I have gotten your money, but I was sad because I haven't gotten any letter from you. By the way, I am doing fine and currently I am working very hard to prepare myself for all oncoming examinations by my Faculty.
At the end I have to apologize because of this emotional letter but hope you are going to understand it.
Use this letter with Hikers (1/2), Climbers (1/2), Adventurers (4)
Boris, Jelena, and Vesna Jaric from Prijedor write:
We are writing this letter to let you know that we received $100 and to thank you very much for your help. We are going to use this money to buy books and everything else my children need for [the] new school year. We also want to thank Sanja and Irena because without them we wouldn't know each other.
The tragedy that just happened in your country and to its people hit us very deeply. We are praying that this won't happen ever again. Warm greetings and God bless you all.
Use this letters with Climbers (1/2), Runners (1/2), Flyers (5)
Tehvida, Romana, and Renato Gajic from Banja Luka write:
I would like to thank you very much for the money in the amount of $100 I received when Irena got here. This money I am going to use to buy books for a new school year for my children as well as some warm clothes and shoes for oncoming winter season. The children started a new school year. They are very good kids and very good students.
Here, life is very hard. I have a feeling it is getting worse every day. Our economy is in very poor condition; unemployment rate is sky high. So if you ask me how I am making it through, I would not be able to tell you how. Your help is giving me strength to make through this hard time and to raise my kids as good people.
We regret all those innocent people who died in these recent terrorist attacks in USA. We pray for their families and hope that will not happen ever again.
As well I would like to stay in touch with you and hope you can help me with my children's education. Once again I thank you for all your money and moral support.
Olive Branch: Ancient Symbol of Peace
The olive branch has for thousands of years been used as a sign of peace and goodwill. This may be partly because in early farming it took decades for the olive tree to bear fruit for harvest. It was held that anyone who planted olive groves must be expecting a long and peaceful life and must be looking to future generations.
The symbolism is also probably related to the Biblical story of the dove that Noah released from the Ark. The dove returned with an olive branch to show that the flood was over, symbolizing deliverance and God's forgiveness.
In ancient Greek myth, the olive was a plant of Athene - maiden goddess of wisdom, reason, purity and crafts. She was also a warrior, but only to defend the State and home from outside enemies. The olive wreath or crown was the highest award given to a citizen in ancient Greece. The prize was also given to winners at the ancient Olympic Games -- a time when wars were suspended.
Can you find the olive branch in these symbols from around the world?
the United Nations symbol with the world flanked by a wreath of crossed olive branches;
the Great Seal of the USA where the eagle carries in its right talon an olive branch with 13 leaves to represent peace between the original member States
the flag of the League of Arab States which has an upturned crescent encircled by a gold chain and olive wreath;
the flag of Cyprus which has crossed olive branches beneath a map of the island to represent peace between the Greek and Turkish populations;
the flag of Eritrea, which includes a golden olive wreath and stem.
 Source: Thousand Cranes Peace Network.<//www.rosella.apana.org.au/~mlb/cranes/symbols.htm>