1 and 2
- To help children understand the effect of debt on poor countries.
- To introduce them to Jesus's teaching on charity.
- To introduce the work of Jubilee 2000.
Prepare an OHP transparency with the following text:
'Must we starve our children to pay our debts?'
(Julius Nyerere - former President of Tanzania)
Have the following ready:
- some balancing scales, as large as possible, with weights
- a chain, as heavy as you can manage, with weights attached
- a long paper chain made by the children
Show the children the scales and put a heavy weight on one side. Show how hard it is to move the weight by putting different things on the other side.
Explain that for many of the poorest countries that is what life is like for them. Whatever they do, they cannot lift the weight of poverty. The problem is the debt they have to repay to countries which are so rich they do not really need the money anyway.
Bring on a child with the real chain wrapped around them (make sure that the child is completely happy to take part and practice this section of the collective worship beforehand). Show how this restricts what they can do - and how tiring it is having to drag a chain around all the time.
Put up Nyerere's statement on the OHP.
Wrap a second child in the paper chain.
Explain that 'Jubilee 2000' is a special campaign, taking place worldwide, about cancelling the debt repayments of the poorest countries and letting the people of those countries have a fresh start. It's like breaking the chains and giving people freedom to help themselves. It's a way they can become independent, no longer having to rely so much on aid. Ask two other children to come and break the paper chains, offering a hand out of them, then standing hand in hand together.
How much better it is to make chains which help other people rather than create chains which make life impossible.
Jesus was clear that we should help each other - especially the weak and the poor:
'Bind us together Lord'
(Mission Praise 54, Songs of Fellowship 43, Hymns for Today's Church S.4)
The Jubilee Prayer can be found at www.rathgarparish.com/page6.html
Jesus, bless us this Jubilee Year; bless us with joy and with hope, forgiveness and love; bless us with the new life of your cross and resurrection. May we join with you in spreading the peace and love of the kingdom of God. Amen.
This Collective Worship material is used here by kind permission of the National Society and Culham College Institute. For further Collective Worships visit the site at www.natsoc.org.uk or www.culham.ac.uk