Last Monday, the children of St. Paul’s RC Primary School in Portsmouth gathered together for a special CAFOD Harvest Fast Day assembly given by our Education Volunteer, Petra Wagenblast. The hall was filled with all the year groups which created a great atmosphere and the children listened really attentively when Petra asked for their help and support to ‘Brighten Up’ this Harvest to help CAFOD build a brighter world.
At the start of the assembly, the children were shown a picture of two Syrian girls that had safely arrived in a Turkish refugee camp after escaping from their war-torn home country. They were also shown a photo of Diego, a boy who lives in El Salvador where it is not safe to simply go out on the streets and play.
The children and Petra then explored what peace actually meant to them and their lives in their families, at school and in their church community. Some children related peace to silence and a quiet atmosphere whereas others came up with ‘’sharing’’, ‘’being friendly’’ and ‘’being helpful’’. In a role play, two children were the bakers who used just these things as ingredients for making their specialities namely their ‘Peace Pies’. Other ingredients like ‘’fighting’’, ‘’arguing’’ and ‘’bullying someone’’ were immediately put into the ‘Conflict Cake’ baking mixture that ended up being more of a messy crumble than looking like a proper cake!
The colourful icing on top of the ‘Peace Pie’ symbolized ‘’being happy and feeling light and bright when we are at peace with each other and with ourselves’’. Falling out with one another makes us feel sad and upsets us. Referring to Jesus, the children were reminded that it was important to make up after arguments, forgive each other and make peace again: ‘’Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God’’[Matthew 5:6]. Many of them were reminded how good it felt when we admitted to have done something wrong and to be forgiven by God.
‘’Being peacemakers means to act, to go out and about, to speak up and out, to do something to make peace for children in other countries and brighten up their lives’’, the children were told. At once, they came up with wonderful ideas to ‘Brighten Up’ this Harvest at St. Paul’s! And to start, everyone shook hands and said ‘’Peace be with you’’. They then ended the assembly by praying for peace for all people around the world.
Our thanks to all the staff, parents at St Paul’s for all their support and thank you too to our Education Volunteer, Petra, for giving a great assembly!
Find out more about our ‘Brighten Up’ for Harvest appeal.