Sample Children’s Sermon or Sunday School Lesson
Muslim Neighbors in South Dakota: “Little Muslim Dolls”
1) Introduction to “Little Muslim Dolls”
“Little Muslim Dolls” are small (3in), hand-painted dolls made by an American Muslim artist and available on Etsy. You will see that you can order a free set of Little Muslim Dolls if you send back your mailer by July 31, 2017. These dolls can be passed around to children during a children’s sermon or Sunday school lesson, giving them a tactile, representational, non-threatening, toy-based introduction to Muslim neighbors.
2) Ideas for Using “Little Muslim Dolls” in a Children’s Sermon or Sunday School Lesson
We recommend passing out the dolls, and asking the children questions about them.
What are these? (Toys, dolls, little people)
What kind of people do you see (Mommy, Daddy, kids, doctors)
What do doctors do? (Care for us, make people feel better, give shots, etc.) What do mommies and daddies do? (Take care of children, go to work, make us food, etc.)
Do you see anything about these little people that is different from you, your mommies and daddies, or your doctors? (Clothes, head scarves, beards, skin color.)
Use the discussion to introduce the idea that some of these differences are tied to religion.
These little people belong to a different religion than ours. We call our religion Christianity, and we call ourselves Christians. These little people belong to a religion called Islam, and they call themselves Muslims.
The headscarves are called hijabs, and many Muslim women wear them as part of a way to dress modestly. Some Christians in SD, like Mennonites, also dress modestly and cover their heads, but most Christians do not.
The man dolls have beards. Some Muslim men grow beards because Mohammed, the person who started their religion, always had a beard and now it is a strong tradition for many Muslims.
Some of the dolls have darker skin. Many Muslims come from countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia where people often have darker skin that many of the folks in our church do.
Note that there are also similarities between Muslims and Christians
Muslims believe some different things than Christians do. But there are also some important things we have in common:
- Both Muslims and Christians believe there is one God.
- Both Muslims and Christians believe it is important to show love and compassion to others.
- Both Muslims and Christians believe it is important to care for poor people, and people who are sick or who need help.
Explain that we have a growing community of Muslim neighbors in SD. Some of them came to SD because there was war or a hard time in their old homes. And some, like the doctor dolls, came here to help take care of us as healthcare providers.
In a setting where time permits, ask children questions about how we should think about/treat our Muslim neighbors.
How did Jesus treat people who were new, or different from him?
How should we treat people who are different from us?