When you’re seven years old, following
directions is an important part of the school
experience. Speaking out of the silence of
Meeting for Worship can be confusing from this young
perspective. Why don’t I need to raise my hand? How
do I know if I should speak? Some Meetings can be
pretty quiet. Students at Plymouth Meeting Friends
School (Pennsylvania) are practicing the skills of
speaking from the heart in a worshipful setting through
monthly worship sharing groups using centering objects
classes use centering objects from nature.
Each grade takes a turn generating queries as the focus
for worship sharing. Classes often combine, with older
students joining their “meeting buddies.” This year, many
classes use centering objects from nature. The Primary
classes (1st and 2nd grades) choose a shiny stone from
a basket at the start of worship. As they center on the
queries, students share their thoughts as they feel led,
then put their stone back in the basket.
The Primary classes (1st and 2nd grades) choose a shiny stone from a basket at the start of worship. As they center on the queries, students share their thoughts as they feel led, then put their stone back in the basket.
“Using centering objects made a huge difference in how
students have responded to the queries: you hold the
stone, and when you have something of a deep nature to
say, you have one chance, either to say it aloud or to hold
your thought as you return your stone to the basket. It
made their space to speak important, and they are more
reflective,” says Primary teacher Debbie Bakan.