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What Is Peace?

An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To consider the meaning of peace and why it is important.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a copy of Five Minutes’ Peace or Peace at Last, both by Jill Murphy.

  • You will also need a dictionary for a child to look up the definition of the word ‘peace’.

Assembly

  1. Read Five Minutes’ Peace or Peace at Last to the children.

    Encourage them to think about why the central character needed peace.

  2. Ask the children what they think ‘peace’ means. Ask for a volunteer to read the definition from a dictionary.

  3. Ask the children the following questions.

    - When do we need peace?
    - Why do we all need peace?
    - Where do we find peace?

    Listen to a range of responses.

  4. We often need peace when we are tired and need some rest, when we need to think about something or when we need to talk to someone about something important. Most of us have a place in our homes and schools where we can find peace if we need it.

  5. Some people want to be peaceful when they talk to God. They might go to church or another place of worship, and find an opportunity to be peaceful there. However, it is worth remembering that we can talk to God anywhere and at any time. No matter how busy or noisy we are, God is always there to talk with us and is always ready to listen, too!

Time for reflection

Ask the following questions, allowing time for quiet reflection after each one.

- Where do we go when we need to find peace?
- Do we need to find peace at the moment? If so, is there some action we can take to help us find peace?

Prayer
Dear God,
Thank you for the times when I need to be peaceful and can find peace.
Please be with people who are scared, tired or troubled and cannot find the peace they need.
Please help me to try hard to keep the peace and avoid unnecessary upset and hurt.
Thank you that you are always there for me, whether I am peaceful or not!
Amen.

Song/music

Peace, perfect peace (Come and Praise, 53)

Follow-up ideas

English. Encourage the children to write a simple prayer or poem about some aspect of peace that matters to them.

RE. Try to visit a peaceful place. There may be an opportunity to visit a local church or another place of worship, or to find a peaceful area within the school. Encourage the children to spend some time being quiet and then share if they discovered anything new in their quiet time.

General discussion. Peace can mean quiet and calm, but it can also relate to a time where people are not fighting or disagreeing. All over the world, there are people caught up in disagreements. Some of these disagreements are happening in wars, where there is danger and fear. Some are happening within our homes and families, where there is fighting and unhappiness. Talk about how to find calmness and peace, even in the midst of differences and disagreements.

Publication date: March 2017   (Vol.19 No.3)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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