Activity 6 – Inspiring reflection ‘Water of Life in action’

Creating a gift or designing a fundraising campaign for our local church or overseas neighbour

Pupils engage in an extended reflection with an individual, local and global ‘values in action’ focus. This enables them to consolidate their understanding of concepts, consider what difference  learning about ‘water of life’  and baptism makes to believers and to themselves, and apply their learning through creating a ‘gift’ or sharing in a project between their local church and overseas neighbour, on the theme of water of life and baptism.

They are able to experience first-hand how they could show ‘love to their local church, community or  overseas neighbour by creating a gift or fundraiser on a ‘water of life’ theme. This part of the unit can be undertaken as a cross-curricular project linked to Art or DT teaching and learning.

This ‘gift-giving’ opportunity can be initiated through the school’s communication with the local church and their overseas church community. Examples of ‘gifts’ created as part of an extended reflection include translating their ideas and learning into textiles designs for the overseas community, such as an  altar cloth, designs for stained glass windows or a fundraising project (See case study Water of Life, which involved pupils in designing windows for the church in Lichinga, Mozambique,  contributing to the Southall parish’s ALMA partnership. See also Extended reflection water of Life Powerpoint Extended Reflection - water of life for visual documentation of Water of Life extended reflection)

The applied learning via the extended creative reflection involving creating gifts for our local or global neighbours,  allows for useful assessment opportunities both of theological understanding and personal reflection.

‘Diocesan Companion’ overseas links, such as the Diocese of London’s Angola, London, Mozambique Association (ALMA) provide opportunities for schools to develop sustainable learning partnerships through local churches. See the Church of England’s webpage on Diocesan Companions for further details.

Key Questions

What could we do to help our local church ‘love their neighbours’ on the theme of ‘water of life’?

What could I create for my overseas neighbour, for example  in Mozambique?

How do Christian believers communicate their faith through the arts?

How can the arts be used as a tool to communicate Christian beliefs and values?

Learning Objectives

  • To reflect upon their own interpretations of Loving God and loving your neighbour
  • To identify what we can learn from the commandment to love our neighbours
  • To consider  ways of loving our ‘neighbours’ in terms of water-related issues and the water of Life theme
  • To communicate Christian belief and values through creative process for an artwork for the local church or community overseas

Starter

What difference do these overseas partnerships make to people involved in UK churches and schools?

  • Consider how overseas partnerships and project work, is evidence for believers being motivated to love their neighbour as themselves, inspired by Jesus’s  example and enabled by the Holy Spirit
  • In what ways has investigating the ways that Christian believers follow the commandment to  love their neighbours impacted us individually, as a class , as a school community?
  • Write a class Acrostic poem using the letters from’ Love your neighbour’ to enable pupils to process their thoughts and communicate their response. Pupils could work in pairs to compose a line for the class poem.

Main activity (Creative project work for the extended reflection can be undertaken as a cross-curricular project with Art and Design and DT )

Values in action: individual, local and global 

How can we express our understanding of the importance of water physically and spiritually ?

Individual

  • Review what the pupils have learned so far and ask them to write a letter to their  overseas neighbours to describe their learning journey and explain their understanding of the significance of water physically and spiritually from investigating Baptism in the UK and overseas,  for example how they have been challenged to use water more wisely, and what they understand about the idea of baptism by water and the Holy spirit.
  • Pupils could look again at an example of a prayer from the Church of England baptismal service book and write their own prayer about Baptism from the viewpoint of a believer in UK or overseas
  • Pupils could add their own prayers on the theme of ‘water of life’ (physical or spiritual) to the class display

Local or Global

  • How can we show love to our  local church, community or overseas neighbours in a practical way, (for example in Mozambique) on the theme of ‘water of life?
  • What could our class create as a gift or design as a fundraiser,  for our local or overseas (Mozambican) neighbour?

Project guidelines and outline of the creative process for generating artwork or designing a fundraising campaign

  • Find out through the local church about their priorities and links with overseas partnerships, for example ALMA. Ask  what priorities they have regarding supporting the church and community overseas, for example via ALMA in Mozambique there might be a need for water pumps, equipment, decoration for the church
  • Discuss with pupils ideas they might have for creating gifts for the overseas community (Mozambique) on the water of life in response to priorities discussed with the local church.
  • Communication with your local church about the priorities of the overseas community should inform the decision making  for the extended reflection and focus for the creative process.

Themes
Water of Life (physical and spiritual), the sacrament of Baptism and possible links with existing works of art in the local church.

Possible starting points for artwork

  • Bible stories from lesson 1 on the significance of water in the Bible e.g. Creation, Noah, Moses, Jesus and the women at the well, the miraculous catch of fish and the Baptism of Jesus
  • The Baptism of Jesus based on Piero dela Francesca’s painting ‘The Baptism of Christ’ in the National Gallery, London
  • Tree of life with ‘Fruits of the Spirit’ and pupils examples of loving others using these gifts – Galatians 5
  • Water of life – comparing physical and spiritual significance of water in Christianity

Creative process
Using the church space and involving parents and church members where possible

  • Responding to a brief: introducing the brief e.g.  for creating artwork or designing a fundraising campaign
  • Team work: working in groups  with a group leader appointed who overseas team work throughout the creative process- (considering your neighbour in team work – see related  guidelines)
  • Research and visualising concepts and themes: researching and visualising ideas using agreed starting points
  • Presentation skills development: presenting initial group ideas to the class – inviting feedback on how concepts, ideas and learning about baptism have been communicated
  • Reflection on learning: reflecting on and refining ideas in preparation for translation into chosen medium
  • Translating ideas: translating ideas into agreed outcome in partnership with parents,  staff, church members

Possible outcomes

  • banners on a theme
  • designs for windows
  • altar cloths
  • priests vestments
  • priests stole
  • resources for children overseas
  • fundraising campaign

Plenary

What did we enjoy about creating a gift for our neighbours either locally or overseas?

How did it help us understand the impact of loving your neighbour as yourself, on our neighbours and ourselves?

Pupils  should explain how the agreed project idea demonstrates ‘Loving your neighbour’

Learning outcomes

  • I can respond thoughtfully to the Christian idea Baptism and the symbolic use of water
  • I can use creative process to communicate about the beliefs of Christian believers  and my own beliefs.
  • I can work in a team to create artwork, or a campaign for a fundraiser to show love to my neighbour
  • I can reflect on my learning about Water of Life and Baptism in the UK and Mozambique

Resources and Points to note

Working with professional Christian artists, such as a stained glass artist  e.g. Emma Blount  offers demonstrations and workshops in partnership with RE with Soul as part of ‘extended ‘values in action’ reflection.

See Emma Blount stained glass artist clip – feedback on RE with Soul

Assessment opportunities

The applied learning via the extended creative reflection – (‘creating gifts for our local or global neighbours’) allows for useful assessment opportunities both of theological understanding and personal reflection.
Guidelines for maximising the educational and citizenship values from partnership work with local churches and overseas neighbours for example via ALMA ( Diocese of London Diocesan Companion) are included in the RE with Soul website