A couple of weeks ago I was scheduled to lead a 30 minute program for our junior high youth group. This is not my strength, so I sought ideas and moral support from one of the clergy groups I frequent on FB. Liz Garrigan Byerly, a United Church of Christ pastor, recommended a video created by junior high members of the Liberty Broadcasting Squad.
Here's the video. It's long, but incredibly powerful and worth watching to the end.
I showed the video to the kids and facilitated a brief conversation. They responded so thoughtfully to the video - even though it doesn't push an explicit "message," the kids very much picked up the implicit themes of identity, diversity, mutual respect, never really knowing what others are going through, and the tension between what differentiates us from and connects us to others.
After our conversation, I gave them paper and markers and a few minutes to create their own signs. I made one for myself and also created a sign that said "I'm human." Then, the kids took turns wordlessly standing before their peers, first holding up the sign they made, and then holding up the "I'm human" sign.
When I do it again, the shared sign will read "I'm a child of God," and I'll do a better job of connecting the message to our Christian faith. But even as it was, it was a wonderful encounter.