Week Two: Family Toolkit

Theme: Practice Paying Attention —Listening

Rumi, the 13th century Persian poet, said, “The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.” This week we’ll share fun, creative ideas for how to quiet ourselves for deep listening: to nature, to your own inner voice, and to others—starting with our children. Intentional listening allows you to pay attention to your own truest wisdom, forge a deeper connection to creation, and bring a caring presence to your conversations with others. Here are some ways to get started.

Scripture Text | Psalm 23

Three Wonderings


What happens when I really listen to someone else?


What happens when I really listen to myself?


How/where do I notice God when I listen?

Spiritual Practice

Join Rev. Emily Meyer, Director of The Ministry Lab, as she invites you to wonder and reflect in an audio recording.

Transcript available here.

Reflection & Music Video

Join musician Richard Bruxvoort Colligan as he invites you to reflect, wonder and connect with and through his original music and thoughts.

Creative Project

Sound Walk

playful, ages 3+

Materials: A “drumstick” 

How To: Pick a “drumstick.” This can be anything you find: a stick from a tree, a whisk,  a pencil, a bottle. Bring your drumstick on a walk with you and (safely) tap, scrape, bop, bang (etc.) it on things you see around you.

  • Try making up a beat
  • Use the drumstick with your body
  • Make it a performance for your friends or family

Time it Takes: 10 min+


What Did You Hear?

adaptable for online, playful, ages 2+

Materials: Collect a variety of objects you can make interesting sounds with from around your home, such as empty containers, a pencil and paper, shoes, kitchen utensils, stones/marbles, clothing, etc. Optional blindfold. 

How To: One person is “it” and participants can close their eyes or use a blindfold. The person who is “it” collects some materials/items and makes a sound, one item at a time. Participants try to guess which items are making which sounds. Take turns, try using the objects in different ways, and use your body and voice too! Reflection: What else did you hear when you were listening closely (unintentional sounds in our environment)? What surprised you?

Time it Takes: 10+ minutes

Caring for the Common Good Project

29 Big-Hearted Questions

How To: Put your smart phone out of reach. Banish the unending “to do list” to a vault at the back of your mind. And really listen to your child. Listening with acceptance, without distraction, judgment or evaluation shows respect, deepens your relationship with one another, and helps you better understand your child. Here’s an easy way to start: use this 29 Big-Hearted Questions printable to spark engaging conversations at the dinner table (or anytime) that will help your whole family develop empathy, get to know one another, and practice listening.

Children’s Picture Book

Silence by Lemniscates.

© Minnesota Conference United Church of Christ | 2021