Saturday, December 5, 2015

Project Warn, Giving Games 5th mission and Professor Carol's Hannak

Second Grade Project Warm:  Second graders made blankets for the Salvation Army with materials provided by a Salvation Army Volunteer.  

Special thanks to Mrs. France for welcoming an Upper Division Service Learning connection of this project naming it WARM Project in loving memory of Annie Hill, whose passion to serve the community during her freshman year at Casady was to make blankets for Positive Tomorrows children.  Thank you Annie for a wonderful warm memory of your kind spirit!

Reflect On Yesterday's Mission

Before moving on to your fifth mission, take a moment to reflect on the last mission. How did you feel after laughing at nothing for 60 seconds? Did your mood change? Did you have more fun in class or as a group that day? What are some other things that really make you laugh? Discuss these questions as a class, or break into small groups.
Your fifth mission, Agents, is to show appreciation for someone!
Think of one person in your school or community who works really, really hard, but may not receive a lot of credit for doing what they do. Create a thank you card for them, and deliver it to that person before the end of the day.
And Agents, remember! As you fulfill your mission, share your experiences on the Compassion Report Map! Your reports are already beginning to inspire others as the world is continues to become a safer, kinder, and better place! Good work!

Going Deeper:

To feel “seen” is to be acknowledged by another that you belong, and that you are valued as a member of your community. This is a wonderful feeling, and giving appreciation is a power you can use all the time! If you see something that someone does that makes you happy, go and “see them” by letting them know how much you appreciate what they did or even who they are! It keeps that person motivated to stay positive, and makes you feel really positive, too.

For Teachers/Parents/Mentors:

While it’s valuable to encourage students to show appreciation for others, sometimes it’s our students who desperately need recognition themselves. Take a look at how this special education teacher in Florida starts each day in the classroom.


All 11 Missions are available to be viewed here. Use this sneak peak as a way to plan ahead, or to review previous or missed missions.

Advent Day 7: Hanukkah

By Professor Carol on Dec 05, 2015 04:00 am
Dnalor 01 (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Dnalor 01 (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Growing up in Roanoke, Virginia the 1950s, I never saw a menorah, at least not in my neighborhood. I also didn’t know I was Jewish.
My mother fled Brooklyn and her impoverished immigrant household in 1938 when she married a handsome, guitar-playing Gentile whose family had been dug into the West Virginia mountains for generations. She’d met him during the Depression when his family, like so many others, was thrown into New York City looking for work. I would be raised a Protestant, fully unaware of my own Jewish heritage or the existence of Hanukkah.
Hanukkah begins tomorrow, Dec. 6, at sunset. Its most important symbol appears frequently in popular culture these days. Do you remember when menorahs began to be placed routinely next to crèches in school programs or on public squares at “holiday” time? It almost seems that some people critical of Christian practice (or intent on religion-neutral civic life) welcome the Menorah a more acceptable symbol.
Anyone who thinks that doesn’t understand the Menorah.
The Menorah is a power-packed symbol of a significant event in Jewish history when the Temple in Jerusalem was restored for Jewish worship in 165 BC after a period of pagan desecration. Rebuilt after its awful initial destruction in 586 BC, the Temple had become the site of sacrifices to Zeus. Finally, the Jews, led by Judas Maccabeus, launched a rebellion and kicked out the last of the pagans. Shortly thereafter, the process of rededication (חֲנֻכָּה, Hanukkah) was undertaken.
A complex ceremony was necessary to purify the site and restore it to holiness. This ceremony commenced during Jerusalem’s winter season with what seemed an imprudent decision: sacred lamps would need to burn continuously, yet there was enough consecrated oil for only one day’s flame. Still, the first lamp was lit and, marvelously, the oil lasted through the entire eight-day period. That, at least, is the story that is told and retold through lighting the menorah.
Hanukkah became an annual Feast, although a relatively minor one by Jewish standards. Yet it was important enough that Jesus traveled to Jerusalem to take part in it, as we learn in John 10: 22-23:
Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon’s Colonnade.
A couple of years ago, I was fortunate that my work with the Smithsonian took me for the first time to Jerusalem. People always had said to me that visiting Jerusalem was a life-changing experience. They in no way exaggerated. Walking the streets of that ancient city changed my perception of so many things. Places described in the Bible went from mere names to concrete reality. I can imagine Jesus walking in Solomon’s Colonnade more easily, knowing that it happened within a few feet of where I stood discussing Jewish history with the archeologist who helped us shoot footage for our Early Sacred Music course.
Judaism and Christianity share much of the same history, but that doesn’t mean that menorahs and crèches belong side by side in Christmas displays. Hanukkah makes no sense as the Jewish version of an increasingly secularized Christmas. Quite the opposite, the Maccabees fought to preserve the integrity of Judaism against those who were trying to water it down into something more accommodating of modern trends. For Jews who remember the steadfastness of their Fathers, Hanukkah is a sacred time of quiet rededication. It, like so many Jewish holidays, has much to teach us.
Precisely for this reason, many Christians are reexamining the cornerstones of Jewish tradition. Families who never before lit a menorah are taking up the practice, or finding ways to introduce their children to the meaning of Hanukkah.
You’ll find plenty of scholarship on this issue too. Just get on line and search. You’ll also locate sources for songs, stories, recipes, and traditions of interaction during Hanukkah that can enrich every Christian’s life.
All of this would have gratified my mother, who so long ago made a rash, youthful choice that shut her completely out of her Orthodox Jewish family. Ultimately those breaches would be healed, but it took four decades before I got to know my grandmother or most of the aunts, uncles, and cousins. Perhaps that’s why I particularly rejoice in the momentum leading many Christians to understand the rituals that Jesus himself valued and practiced.
The post Advent Day 7: Hanukkah appeared first onProfessor Carol.
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