All the youth gathered for opening circle to welcome each other and share a prayer.
A teacher read Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster by Michelle Nelson Schmidt. This picture book about a child who conquers his fears. The voice of the Whatif Monster, a small green creature with pointed teeth, fills Jonathan James's head with worry and doubt when he tries something new. "What if it's hard?/What if you're bad?/What if they laugh and/make you feel sad.
Jonathan James questions the Whatif Monster: "And what if baseball is nothing but fun,/and I end up hitting a triple home run?" The ending, in which the boy finds a best friend after taking a chance is a good lesson.
The children divided into their age appropriate groups for a discussion about the book. They discussed individual Whatif Monster fears and how they overcame the fear to achieve successes.
The activity was to develop skits around a Whatif theme. The children created their own Whatif Skits for team tryouts for soccer, taking the last buzzer beater basketball shot and sharing a favorite toy with a visiting friend. Our older youth improvised Whatif scenes at a high school dance.
The children discussed ways to quite the Whatif Monster so they could experience the fun and joy of new people, places and things.
Gathering in the Santuary
All our children were re-united with the adults in our main sanctuary and gave a brief discription of what they learned in their class. Toghether, with the entire congregation they sang "The Peace Song: Let There Be Peace On Earth...and let it begin with me."