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Stronger Together

Women’s World Day of Prayer is on 2 March 2018

by Claire Law

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)

Aims

To introduce the Women’s World Day of Prayer and reflect upon how working together builds strength.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Stronger Together) and the means to display them.

Assembly

  1. Show Slide 1.

    Explain that you are going to show three images and that you would like the students to look at each image for ten seconds. Then, they should turn to the person on either side of them and tell them what they see.

  2. Show Slide 2.

    As the students look at the image, count down from ten, and then ask them to turn to the person on either side of them and tell them what they see.

  3. Show Slides 3-4, repeating the process for Slide 2.

  4. Show Slide 2 again.

    Ask the students if they recognized Manchester United’s 2017/18 team, or perhaps they said that the slide showed 11 footballers.

  5. Show Slide 3 again.

    Ask if the students recognized the Simpson family, or maybe they could name Marge, Homer, Bart, Maggie and Lisa.

  6. Show Slide 4 again.

    Ask if the students described the image as showing a flock of birds, or whether they specified 13 birds flying in formation.

  7. Show Slide 5.

    All of these images show examples of teams. Each group is made stronger by the fact that it is a team and its members work together. A football team does not succeed if the 11 players are all seeking glory by themselves. They need to work together for a common purpose.

    In the case of the Simpsons, they are a family unit. Yes, they argue! But they also experience life together – working as a team, rather than as five individuals.

    The last example shows a flock of geese, who fly south for the winter by working as a team. By flying in this V formation, they reduce the overall effect of the drag that the wind creates. They are more streamlined, so it takes less energy for them to fly the huge distance than if they flew as individuals.

    In all of these examples, it is true to say that each team is stronger together.

    Ask the students to think about examples like this in their own lives.

  8. Show Slide 6.

    We often like to think that we are independent – that we can do everything for ourselves and are not dependent on other people. However, in reality, healthy human society relies on us being interdependent: being willing to work with others, supporting and receiving support from each other and uniting with others to achieve goals.

  9. Let’s look at an example of how coming together in unity can work in practice.

    About 130 years ago, a group of women wanted to do something to make the world a better and fairer place, especially for women and children. These women were Christians and were united by a vision of a loving, fair world where everyone was treated with dignity and respect, and where people knew of the love of God.

    This was a big ask! So, the women decided that they would unite with others around the world to pray together for a common intention and, in 1927, the first Women’s World Day of Prayer was held. Since then, each year in March, women and men around the world pray together with others. Christians of different denominations, and in many different countries, unite to pray with a common intention. By praying with others, and knowing that others around the world are praying for the same cause, there is a real sense of being stronger together.

  10. Show Slide 7.

    This is the logo for the Women’s World Day of Prayer. It shows four figures kneeling in prayer, who together make the shape of a cross. Behind is a circle that represents the world and our unity through all our diversity. The figures are uniting to pray for God’s peace, love and justice in our world. Just like a team, they are united and they are stronger as a result.

  11. Show Slide 8.

    This year, the Women’s World Day of Prayer will be held on Friday 2 March. Over three million men and women at over 5,000 prayer services worldwide will all be praying for this year’s intention of ‘All God’s creation is very good’.

    It will be a great opportunity for people around the world to unite and pray for our world, the environment and God’s creation. Each year, the resources to be used during the time of prayer are written and put together by women from a different country. This year, women from the South American country of Suriname have put together the resources for the Day of Prayer.

    Although the day is called the Women’s World Day of Prayer, anyone who wants to pray for the common intention is welcomed to join in with one of the prayer services around the world. In this way, the Women’s World Day of Prayer really is a team effort.

Time for reflection

Let’s take time to be quiet and still, and to reflect on what we can learn from today’s assembly.

Let’s think about our answers to the following questions.

Can you think of a time when other people helped you, or when you helped others?
- Were you part of a team?
- How did it make you feel?

Pause to allow time for thought.

- What things, people or places in our world do you want to pray for?
- Where in our world would you like to see God’s peace, love and justice?

Pause to allow time for thought.

- Thinking about our world and the environment, what gives you joy and a sense of gratitude about creation?

Take time to be thankful for the many good things in creation.

Pause to allow time for thought.

Prayer
Dear God,
Thank you that we are never alone.
Thank you that as human beings, we are interconnected and interdependent with others.
We can find security, support and strength from others.
We are stronger together when others help and support us.
We thank you for the Women’s World Day of Prayer,
Which reminds us that many people around the world want to see your love, peace and justice.
Many people are willing to unite through prayer, forming a powerful witness of unity and support for one another.
We remember the theme of this year’s Women’s World Day of Prayer:
That all God’s creation is very good.
Help us to look after your creation: the environment, plants, animals and other people.
Help us to see the wonder and beauty of the world around us.
Amen.

Publication date: March 2018   (Vol.20 No.3)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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