Over the summer months, the Summer Spirit Congregation will be exploring the United Church of Canada’s New Creed. So on this page, we’ll be looking at it, too…but from the perspective of children.
What is a Creed? Well, the dictionary says a creed is a statement of beliefs. More simply put, it’s a way of writing the ideas we believe in down on paper. So this creed is what the United Church of Canada believes and has faith in. Here’s what it says:
A New Creed
We are not alone,
we live in God’s world.
We believe in God:
who has created and is creating,
who has come in Jesus,
the Word made flesh,
to reconcile and make new,
who works in us and others
by the Spirit.
We trust in God.
We are called to be the Church:
to celebrate God’s presence,
to live with respect in Creation,
to love and serve others,
to seek justice and resist evil,
to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,
our judge and our hope.
In life, in death, in life beyond death,
God is with us.
We are not alone.
Thanks be to God.
We all have different ways of expressing what we believe in, so some of the words used in this creed may not be the ones you, or especially children, would use to say the same sorts of things. This creed was originally written in 1968 and has been revised several times since then, changing some of the words each time to better reflect how our world is today.
What does it Mean?
Let’s start at the beginning…”We are not alone”. What does this line mean to you?
Perhaps it means that no matter where we are, God is always with us. But how do we know? Well, we can’t see God so we need to have faith that God is there. Try this…take a deep breath in and out. Can you feel the air filling your lungs? We can’t see the air, but we can feel it when we breathe so we know it’s always there. Now imagine God is like the air. We can’t see God but we can we feel God’s presence with us always.
The next part reads… "We live in God’s World". What does this line mean to you?
Perhaps it means that God created everything in this world and loves us all for who we are…no matter what we look like, where we come from, or what language we speak. Did you know that if you go up into space and look back at the earth, it doesn’t look like the maps you see in school? That’s because there are no lines showing the borders between different countries. There is just one big, beautiful earth that we all share together.
So… we believe that God is always with us, that we are all special and that we are all loved. That’s a pretty good way to start the creed, isn’t it? Here are a few more activities to help you explore these ideas:
Look at yourself in a mirror. What do you see? Can you describe yourself? What do you see when you smile? What do you see when you frown? What colour is your hair? What colour are your eyes? Many of us will look in the mirror and want to criticize how we look or want to change something about ourselves. But God made each of us special and unique in our own way. So… what makes you special?
Who Am I?
Get a large piece of paper or an old sheet you can draw on. It should be large enough to fit your entire body! Then, lie down and get a parent or sibling to trace your outline on the paper or sheet. When you’re done, colour it however you like.
THEN…fill it with words or pictures of all of the things that make YOU special. Do you play an instrument? (write the word PIANO or draw a picture of one). Do you play a sport? Do you like to read? What’s your favourite food? What are your favourite things? How do you help others?
You can also do this activity outside on the sidewalk, using coloured chalk instead! Just make sure you take a picture of your final drawing before it rains!
Look For God All Around You
We are not alone…. but sometimes it may feel like we are! So how can we tell that God is always with us? Well, look around for signs. God is everywhere. God is in the air we breathe, the blue sky, the rain, the birds, the trees…what else? Maybe go for a walk and look for all of the signs that God is around us. You could even do a scavenger hunt, looking for various things in nature. Can you find a ladybug? A dandelion? What about a coloured rock or a seashell? All of these things are a part of God’s world…reminding us that we are never alone!
What Do I Believe?
As we explore the words in the New Creed, maybe ask your children to try writing their own creed. What do they believe in? See what words they would use to describe their own beliefs. Then, as we explore the one printed above, you can compare it with them to see what’s similar or what might be different. But make sure that they are welcome to include beliefs from all areas of their lives. For example…do they believe in superheroes? Superheroes help others so that’s a way of expressing that your child believes in helping others too!
Video Story Time
The story this week is called “You Are Special” by Max Lucado. It’s easy to judge ourselves, especially when we are judged by others. But each of us is special…just the way we are!
I know I’ve posted this song before but it’s a good one to remind us that God is all around us, that we live in God’s world and we are not alone.
LIKE A ROCK
LIKE A ROCK, LIKE A ROCK,
GOD IS UNDER OUR FEET.
LIKE A STARRY NIGHT SKY
GOD IS OVER OUR HEAD.
LIKE THE SUN ON THE HORIZON
GOD IS EVER BEFORE.
AS A RIVER RUNS TO OCEAN,
OUR HOME IS IN GOD EVER MORE
“Like a Rock” words: Wehlander, 1998; copyright©1999 Borealis Music. All rights reserved; Used with permission. Reprinted under OneLicense.net A-724418