Wednesday, June 21, 2023

ULC Sacred Summer Adventure, Day Three - The Gift of Forgiveness

Objective: By the end of this lesson, the students will understand the concept of forgiveness, its significance in the Universal Life Church, and how it can help us heal and cultivate peace within ourselves and with others.

Whiteboard or flipchart
Construction paper or poster board
Tape or glue
Pens or pencils
Optional: Story or video about forgiveness

  1. Begin by briefly recapping the previous day's lesson on the power of prayer and its importance in the Universal Life Church.
  2. Ask the students if they have ever experienced forgiveness or forgiven someone for something.

Discussion - Understanding Forgiveness:
  1. Write the word "forgiveness" on the whiteboard or flipchart and ask the students to share their definitions or ideas about what forgiveness means to them.
  2. Engage the students in a discussion about the concept of forgiveness, emphasizing that it involves letting go of anger, resentment, and the desire for revenge.
  3. Ask the students if they have any personal experiences with forgiveness and how it made them feel.

The Importance of Forgiveness:
  1. Discuss why forgiveness is important, both for individuals and communities, in fostering healing and reconciliation.
  2. Talk about the connection between forgiveness and the Universal Life Church principles of love, peace, and understanding.
  3. Share examples or stories (if available) that demonstrate the transformative power of forgiveness.

Activity - Create a Forgiveness Tree:
  1. Distribute construction paper or poster board to each student.
  2. Explain that they will be creating a Forgiveness Tree to visually represent the act of forgiveness.
  3. Instruct the students to cut out a tree shape from the construction paper or poster board.
  4. Provide scissors, tape, or glue, and encourage the students to add branches, leaves, or other decorations to their Forgiveness Tree.
  5. Ask the students to reflect on a specific incident or person they would like to forgive.
  6. On small pieces of paper, have the students write down the incident or person they wish to forgive and attach these "forgiveness leaves" to their trees.
  7. Encourage the students to decorate their trees further and add positive affirmations related to forgiveness.

Reflection and Sharing:
  1. Give students a moment to silently reflect on their Forgiveness Trees and the act of forgiveness.
  2. Optionally, invite students to share their reflections or stories related to forgiveness, creating a safe and supportive environment for sharing.

  1. Summarize the key points discussed during the lesson, emphasizing the importance of forgiveness in healing and cultivating peace.
  2. Reinforce the idea that forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves and others, releasing negative emotions and promoting personal growth.
  3. Encourage the students to continue exploring forgiveness in their lives, recognizing its power to create positive change.
  4. Conclude with a brief prayer or moment of reflection centered around forgiveness and its transformative potential.

Note: Be aware that forgiveness can be a sensitive topic, so approach it with sensitivity and respect. Allow students the option to share or reflect privately if they are not comfortable sharing in the group. Emphasize the importance of creating a safe and non-judgmental environment for everyone involved.

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