One World Week (October)
Each year the third week in October is celebrated as One World Week. Christians believe that the world is God's gift to us and that God has given people the job of taking care of it by continuing to create good things with his help. The Christian faith is found all around the world and in response to God's gift of creation Christians try to make a difference for good where they are. What follows is an outline for a collective worship presentation for One World Week linking this worldwide family of faith to the story of creation and Abraham from the Bible.
You will need an egg-timer that is filled with sand! You could make a big one of these by using two clear, large plastic bottles with the labels removed, some sand and a piece of fine gauze. Fix a circle of the gauze over the open top of one of the bottles. Fill the other bottle to halfway with fine, dry sand and then put the first bottle directly over the top so that no sand can spill when you tip the whole timer over. Time how long it takes for the sand to filter from one bottle to the other and then adjust the amount of sand so that it takes about one minute. Now glue the first bottle top on to the second and make the connection firm with some strong coloured tape.
1. Introduce your sand timer and ask the children to guess how long they think it will take for all the sand to filter from one bottle to the other. Now count together as the sand flows. Who was nearest to the one minute that it took?
2. Explain how some very early clocks used sand in this way to tell how much time passed during an activity. I wonder how many times we would have to turn the sand timer to equal break time? Or the school lesson? Or a whole day!?
3. Wherever we are in the world one thing we have in common is time. We all have the same amount of time. However different we are in other ways such as in skin colour, language, dress, wealth, climate or the food we eat, we all have the same amount of time. A minute is a minute; however we all do different things with the time we have.
4. How many different countries around the world can the children name in the one minute it takes for the sand to move from bottle to bottle? Have someone count the number of countries that are named.
In all these different countries in our one world, different people are using each minute in different ways. To illustrate this introduce the following one minute activities, which different children could mime while the minute timer flows.
- playing a computer game
- pumping water from a well to drink
- picking tea-leaves in a basket to sell
- making mud bricks to build a new school
- praying to God about the day
- reading a book
- hiding from soldiers in a war-zone
- digging in a garden to find some food
- queuing for a bus
- blowing up balloons for a party
- begging on a street for food or money
- planting seeds for a harvest
Act this out with all the children doing the mimes during the one minute the sand flows.
5. All around God's world people are doing different things every single minute. Some good, some bad and even some which that are very sad. Christians believe that we should use the minutes we are given well and try and make a difference for good in this world.
6. Use the timer now to tell a one-minute Creation story. Each word in this story should take about one second.
God made everything
On day 1 God gave the gift of light
On day 2 God gave the gift of water
On day 3 God gave the gift of land
On day 4 God gave the gift of time
On day 5 came gifts of fish and birds
On day 6 came animals, you and me
and then God rested.
Produce a globe to illustrate what Christians believe God made for us.
7. God used his time to make something beautiful. He now wants us to copy what he is like and to do the same. We too have the gift of making something good with the time we have. We can create good things if we choose to. How will we use each minute that we are given?
8. Here is the story of one man:
There was one someone called Abraham whose story comes early on in the Bible. He once saw sand drifting in the desert wind - just as we watched the sand going from bottle to bottle ( show the sand timer in action again). As he watched, he heard God speaking to him. God told him that he wanted to bless him just as he had blessed the world and that he wanted him to be a blessing to others. This meant that he wanted God's goodness not just to touch Abraham's life but also to spill over into all the lives of those he met. He also promised him that one day there would be a huge family of people doing this - and that this family of faith - would be so many - as many as the grains of sand that he was watching in the desert. Abraham did try and do what God asked of him and his life did make a difference and now there are many people who were part of Abraham's great family all around the world. They are trying to bless others just as they have been blessed. They are people who are trying to pass on God's goodness to those around them.
9. In a minute of silence, give an opportunity for reflection and to ask God to help them think about what they can do to make this world a better place.