The world’s religions and traditions share common threads:
Use this program to expand your young one's knowledge of other faiths to teach them we are more alike than different.
So unbelievably thankful to have found The Golden Thread of Truth! We don't have a [a church home] here in Maine and are thrilled to be able to use the Parent materials at home with our very inquisitive 5-year old son. I have been devouring your website and those downloads are amazing. I'm already excited about the 8 Weeks Summer Program on Happiness as well as the 10 Commandments. I have a feeling "Timeless Tales Volume 1" will be a much-used book in our nightly reading time. You've got an amazing thing going here. Thank you for putting this all together and developing the curriculum. Working with our son on those common threads (across all religions) of love, respect, kindness, karma, and of course, the larger power at play in the Universe is a joy. Thank you! ~ Cindy F. ~ Maine
November's theme is Muslim Foundations: Prayer, Truthfulness, Piousness and Generosity.
This month’s stories come from the Sahih al-Bukari. This collection is one of the six major ‘hadiths’, the stories denoting the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad in Sunni Islam. The hadith is generally accepted by Muslims as a secondary source of Islamic law after the Qur’an. These prophetic traditions were collected by a Muslim scholar after being transmitted orally for generations. The book covers almost all aspects of life in providing proper guidance of Islam such as the method of performing prayers and other actions of worship.
Find out more about November's curriculum HERE.
October is the month to celebrate the joy and creative play found in all the world's religions through laughter (Buddha), dance (Muslim, Jewish, Native American) and song. The stories include "Tuan and his neighbor" and "How to be the greatest person in the world". Children in creative play! For Halloween, we celebrate Children Helping Children by partnering with Unicef(™).
Get these lessons for your Sunday School or to share at Home.
This month’s stories come from the Torah, the Jewish sacred text. See Entire Lesson Here The Torah is the foundation of a child’s Jewish education. It is read publicly every year.
In Judaism, it is common to share the story of Jonah and the Whale during the afternoon of Yom Kipper since the story shares of God’s willingness to forgive those who repent. Jonah is also mentioned in the Christian New Testament, the Qur’an and by Mohammad. The Jewish Religion celebrates Rosh Hashanah.
The Sikhs are an incredible, loving, inclusive, giving, generous, fun, family oriented group! Five hundred years ago the caste system in India was in full-swing and people had to to succumb to the life and lack of equality, that was afforded them. The Sikh’s came along and said, “All people are equal. No person sits above another”. The key to their faith are the 5 Ks, Kesh, Kangha, Katchera, Kara and Kirpan. This lesson, we look at the Kesh - uncut hair and beard, as given by God, to sustain him or her in higher consciousness; and a turban, the crown of spirituality.
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Summer Program... The 8 Secrets to Happiness for Kids and Teens ... Each Story Includes: Fun ... Crafts ... Activities ... and Material for K-12 Grades!
Native American Ritual
We see evidence of harmony all around us. The indigenous people understand the harmony of our planet and our place in it. They revere the earth and all living creatures and show great respect for everything. They understand that the smallest among us has mighty powers and purpose.
An Indian Prayer
Respect for our plants, animals and each other show respect for Spirit. Out of the Native American approach to life there came a great freedom, an intense and absorbing respect for life, enriching faith in a Supreme Power, and principles of truth, honesty, generosity, equity, and brotherhood. Native American’s teach that all of nature is sacred and Holy and should be treated with respect. Mother earth takes care of all her children, animals, and our universe. Great Spirit is in everything. Having respect for our world means giving thanks for all things.
How the Fly Saved the River
Native American’s know that everything on this earth has a purpose and everything is important. This is true for each of us as well. Everything in our world, big and small, is important.
Don't Judge a Man Until You've Walked in His Moccasins
When we view the world with compassion, we help lift the other people on the planet. Compassion means acceptance and love without judgment. Acts of kindness show our compassion.
Lessons from Confucius: The Story of Three Men Walking
Confucius is the most important person in the history of Chinese philosophy. He was born in 551 BC in China and strove to bring order and justice to his country. His focus was on how men should be educated to live and work with others in society. Confucius’s teachings focused around a primary thread through all wisdom: “Do not impose upon others what you do not want for yourself.” Confucius believed we are all good but can move away from our innate goodness. Our job is to find our way back to that peace and harmony within ourselves. Once we have harmony and peace within ourselves, we can establish peace and harmony in the world. Confucius’s focus on self-improvement was radical for his day. He wanted to lead others to a peaceful society that was grounded from a place where all men (people) lived in peace.
The Influence of the Unseen
Aristotle is one of the most influential people who ever lived. Aristotle believed all peoples' concepts and all of their knowledge was ultimately based on perception. In metaphysics, Aristotelianism profoundly influenced Judeo-Islamic philosophical and theological thought during the Middle Ages and continues to influence Christian theology, especially the scholastic tradition of the Catholic Church. Aristotle was well known among medieval Muslim intellectuals and revered as "The First Teacher”. Aristotle showed us that the potential for each of us can be envisioned from whatever our form or circumstance is current today. It is our perception of that possibility that has the greatest influence on the outcome.
The Boy and the Wolf
Al-Farabi was born around 872AD and was a philosopher and scientist. He was renowned during the Islamic Golden Age where ‘the ink of a scholar is more holy than the blood of a martyr’. He studied with Christian and other philosophers of the time. He loved music and poetry. His greatest work was “The Virtuous City”. Al-Farabi was known to the Arabs as the 'Second Master' (after Aristotle). He may rightly be acclaimed as one of the greatest of Islamic philosophers of all time. Al-Farabi taught that working with one another, with each of us in alignment with our greatest good, was the focus for happiness. Working within your community and neighborhood, sharing your gifts and appreciating and enabling the gifts of others, will make the best life for everyone.
The Judgment of Solomon (Adapted from 1 Kings 3:16-28)
Solomon was King of Israel and stories of his wisdom are present in the Bible, the Torah and the Qur’an. He was born around 970 BC and the Hebrew Bible credits Solomon as the builder of the First Temple in Jerusalem and portrays him as great in wisdom, wealth, and power. Solomon was known for the truths and insights he revealed through his acts. His power came not from bullying or force but from understanding that true wisdom comes not from the head but from the heart.
The Wisdom of the River
Saraswati celebrates the free flow of Wisdom and Consciousness. In Hinduism, Saraswati represents intelligence, consciousness, cosmic knowledge, creativity, education, enlightenment, music, the arts, eloquence and power.
Ganesh: Teacher with the Elephant Head
Ganesh is the most popular statue in India. The Hindus have many stories about Ganesh that are shared with their families. Over the centuries, some of the stories have varied. Ganesh is always shown with an elephant’s head and one tusk. Ganesh is often shown riding with a rat or with a rat as his feet. These symbolize wisdom and overcoming adversity. Each Hindu home has a statue of Genesh as he represents success and removal of adversity.
The Lotus Flower
The Hindu mythology continues with the marriage of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi. Both provide us with protection and channels for enhancing our lives. Vishnu is the protector of all mankind and represents creation. Laxmi is the goddess of wealth. They are both connected with the lotus flower. The lotus represents our awakening to the spiritual reality of life. Vishnu and Laxmi statues are present in homes and businesses and bring good luck and abundance.
The Leaf, The Flower, The Cricket, The Owl and The Bird
Shiva represents fortune, goodness, favor and promise. Hindus practice rituals symbolizing spiritual knowledge, purity and penance (the spiritual practice of Yoga). Yoga is integral to the Hindu way of life and promotes self-contemplation, good physical health and good mental health. Shiva is sometimes called the Auspicious One. He is the god of fortune, goodness, favor and promise.
The Parable of the Seed Growing Secretly (Mark 4: 26-28)
During the Spring, we see renewal in the plants, animals, trees, all around us. This renewal comes every year, without fail. Just as the world renews and grows, you can have confidence in your growth. You can have confidence in the growth you see in the world around you. This month we are going to focus on the Easter season and how renewal happens in every part of life. During spring we see renewal in the world around us: trees budding with new leaves, grass turning green again, seedlings (baby plants) poking out of the ground, birds laying eggs. The Parable of the Seed Growing Secretly demonstrates that plants grow in an orderly process until they are full grown and can flower or make fruit. . The same is true for Jesus’s life and your life and my life. It's true for ALL life!
The Butterfly Flaps Its Wings
Jesus taught us that to be able to really renew our lives we must be dedicated to God and understand that God is Love. Jesus showed this in many ways. He did things because in his heart he knew they were the right thing to do. We will see examples of this later this month when we talk about the choices he made and the things he did and said during what Christians call Holy Week: the days we call Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter. He followed the feelings deep inside that helped him know what help he could give to other people and also what he needed to take good care of himself. He was kind and honest to his friends. He treated everyone like they were important, because they are - we are all made out of the same "God-stuff" and we are all the same inside. Jesus was dedicated to knowing God inside him and to knowing God was inside everyone else, too. Jesus didn’t just tell his friends his connection to God, he demonstrated this connection so his friends would discover their connection.
The Story of the Butterfly
All month we've been talking about how springtime is a time of renewal - of making old things new again. Many religions celebrate holidays about renewal in the spring. One of the biggest spring celebrations is Easter. Easter celebrates the renewal Jesus experienced. He showed us that we can renew our lives all the time, even when things feel hard or like they're falling apart. We are always growing with God.
Butterflies are great examples of renewal, of making things new again. Butterflies start out as caterpillars, and then they spin a special "house" called a cocoon, around themselves. While they're inside of that, it seems like they've died. Their bodies dissolve. but after a while, they grow a new body with beautiful wings, and when they come out of the cocoon, they can do things and see things they never could before. They can fly! They are totally renewed.
What appears to be bad, or negative might really be a great gift. Just like a caterpillar in a cocoon seems to be in trouble, there is something more happening that the caterpillar can't see. Even though it seems that the caterpillar is sick or broken or falling apart, it really isn't. It is actually being built into a whole new self. In the middle of this confusing time it seems bad things are happening. But at the end the caterpillar will come out of the cocoon, completely healed as a beautiful butterfly.
The Story of Holy Week
This week is an important week in Christianity and to others who learn from Jesus. Christians call it Holy Week. This week we will follow Jesus from Palm Sunday through what the Christian religion call The Last Supper (the last Jewish Passover celebration dinner that Jesus participated in), Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Jesus knew that this week would change his life forever. He also knew that it was important to the whole world that he do what he knew he had to do and say what he had to say this week. Jesus showed integrity - being truthful, honest, and knowing he was part of the whole Universal Life - by keeping true to his heart and what he knew about God. He was afraid at times, like we all are, but he did not let fear stop him. He thought maybe he could get out of some things, but he chose to go through everything in his week because he knew it was important for his renewal. He also knew his example would be important to the renewal of many, many people around the world. It still is today.
Release & Love
Story: The Story of Buddha
Release desires/wants and concentrate on love of yourself and others. We celebrate Buddha’s life this month on Nirvana Day (February 8 or 15). Nirvana is the idyllic spiritual condition, the ultimate goal of a Buddhist.
Generosity: Love in Action
Story: The Most Important Thing
We focus on the basics of the teachings of Buddha, the master teacher of the Buddhist faith. This week’s story is ‘The Most Important Thing’, a tale of a man who travelled many miles to hear from Buddha the key to the most important thing in life.
Stillness: Feeling the Presence
Story: A Heavy Load
This week’s story, “A Heavy Load”, has been told by Zen Buddhists for hundreds of years. It is a classic story of how our minds and thoughts are within our control. We control how we feel, how we react and the circumstances of our life. Buddhists believe that the best way to exercise this practice of mindfulness is through the practice of meditation. Through meditation, we gain control of our mind and how we think and act.
Story: The Farmer's Luck
Feel compassion with a generous heart, kind speech and a life of service. “The Farmer’s Luck”, which has roots in Taoism, going back several thousand years. It is a wonderful illustration of how the value that we attach to events in our lives can affect our peace of mind. By having compassion for others in all circumstances, we can stay present to the current moment.
Don't Hide Your Light Under a Bushel - Luke 11:33
Jesus used stories to teach life lessons. In the parables, we are not necessarily instructed by Jesus, but instead invited to explore life through his eyes and stand with him to understand what the simple stories reveal.
The Tree and Its Fruits - Mathew 8:15-20
The fruit we see in our lives is a reflection of our thoughts or way of being. Our lives mirror the seeds we plant and nurture.
Sower and the Seeds - Luke 8:4-15
Manifestations are always taking place, everywhere around us, from the thoughts and ideas put into action. There are no restraining or inhibiting actions that obstruct the harvest.
The Birds of Heaven & the Lilies of the Field- Matthew 6:24-34
At each moment, we are at choice to live from a place of anxiety and fear, or from a place of peace and serenity.
December’s Theme is The Gift of Holiday Traditions. The last month of the year has many holidays that are celebrated around the world. The consistent thread is celebrating our spiritual truths and giving to those we love.
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