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Abrahamís Journey

An assembly for the start of a new school year

by Alan M. Barker

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To encourage a positive and collaborative approach to a new school year.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need ten A4 sheets of paper, each of which should list one of Abraham’s possessions: silver, gold, pots, pans, water jars, clothing, sleeping mats, tents, sheep and goats.
  • You will also need to familiarize yourself with the story in the ‘Assembly’, Step 4, so that it can be led with pace and confidence, inviting involvement from the children.
  • You will also need the help of ten volunteers who will represent Abraham, Sarah, Lot, five servants and two shepherds.

Assembly

  1. Welcome the children and point out that the start of a new school year brings new opportunities and adventure.

  2. Explain that new beginnings take many different forms. Reflect that some members of the school community will know what it’s like to move to a new home. This may have involved packing furniture and belongings into a van or it may have been necessary to travel light with only a bag or two. Moving to a new home evokes mixed emotions, but sometimes, it’s necessary to ‘move on’.

  3. Explain to the children that you are going to tell them a story about a man called Abraham, who felt the need to find a new home. As he reflected on this and said his prayers, it was as if a voice was saying, ‘It’s time to move on.’

  4. Invite ten volunteers to come to the front and stand in a row, representing the characters in the story.

    Tell the children that you would like them to join in with the story as you tell it.

    Abraham’s Journey

    Abraham didn’t know quite where his journey would end, but he knew he needed to go. He set about making his plans.

    (Gesturing to the ten volunteers in turn) He, Abraham, would set out on a journey with Sarah, his wife; Lot, his nephew; and lots of his servants and shepherds.

    (Distributing the A4 sheets to each volunteer in turn) They would take their silver and gold; their pots, pans and water jars; their clothing, sleeping mats and tents; and their sheep and goats.

    Invite the audience to try to remember and recite these lists together.

    When everything was packed and ready, they set off: Abraham, with Sarah, his wife; Lot, his nephew; and lots of his servants and shepherds.

    They carried their silver and gold; their potspans and water jars; their clothingsleeping mats and tents; and their sheep and goats.

    It was a long, long journey. Abraham, with Sarah, his wife; Lot, his nephew; and lots of his servants and shepherds 
    slept under the stars, surrounded by their silver and gold; their potspans and water jars; their clothingsleeping mats and tents; and their sheep and goats.

    Eventually, they reached a place where there was a clear, fresh stream of water to drink from, plenty of grass and leaves for the sheep and goats to eat and shady trees where they could set up their tents. The name of this lovely place was Canaan. ‘We’ll stay here,’ they agreed.

    So, Abraham, with Sarah, his wife; Lot, his nephew; and lots of his servants and shepherds put down their silver and gold; their potspans and water jars; their clothingsleeping mats and tents; and their sheep and goats.

    (Ask the volunteers to place their sheets of A4 on the floor.)

    As they rested, Abraham looked around at Sarah, his wife; Lot, his nephew; and lots of his servants and shepherdsand at their silver and gold; their potspans and water jars; their clothingsleeping mats and tents; and their sheep and goats.

    A voice seemed to say to him, ‘This is a good place.’ Abraham was pleased that he’d made his journey.

Time for reflection

Conclude by reflecting that the start of a new school year marks the beginning of a new learning journey. Where will it lead? What will there be to discover?

Invite the children to consider the help that we can find in the story of Abraham’s journey.

Abraham knew that he should move on. He didn’t stay in the same place. Let’s not be afraid to try something new, but also recognize that any journey is travelled one step at a time.
- Abraham 
didn’t make his journey alone; he travelled together with others. Learning journeys are shared together. Let’s help one another. Let’s show each other the way.
There are things that we must remember to bring to school: not silver and gold or pots and pans, but our lunch box, a reading book, our PE kit and so on. Most importantly, we must remember to bring positive attitudes! Let’s make the most of our journey.

Read this statement, pausing to allow time for thought: ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’

Prayer
Dear God,
Today, let’s be thankful that we can step out together along our learning journey.
Thank you for those who are there beside us on our journey.
Please help us to help others on our way.
Amen.

Song/music

‘Living and learning’ by Out of the Ark Music. An extract is available at: https://youtu.be/phy2jTi1Ls4 (0.55 minutes long)

Publication date: August 2021   (Vol.23 No.8)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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