This exercise is designed to demonstrate the interconnectedness of each unique part to the whole of Creation, and the way the action of one part of the web is felt on each part of the whole. The geographic references to north, south, east, and west remind us that all parts of the planet are equally as important, but sometimes affect each other disproportionately, with resultant effects.
Have the children stand in a circle – or concentric circles if there are enough. If you have one, put an Earth ball or a globe in the middle, or improvise using a picture.
Give each child a nametag with these names: Air, Water, Fire, Earth, Cloud, Ocean, River, Lake, Ice, Fish, Bird, Human, and whatever various animals and plants you wish. One nametag should be Spider.
Begin with one person, either an adult or one of the older children, who is named Spider. Place Spider to the north, and hand him or her the ball of yarn. Spider begins to make the web of Creation by wrapping the yarn once around the wrist, and passing it to another – and on to each, wrapping once around the wrist, crisscrossing the circle to make a web, until all have a hand on part of the yarn. Tell them to hold tight.
Then have Spider gently tug at the end, and observe the impact on others. Have someone else tug and feel the impact throughout the web. Increase the pressure of the tug (but not too much). Do it from the south, east, and west, and all around the circle, until a rhythm develops.
Ask participants to observe how they are all connected. What was their first reaction to the tug? What did it feel like when it was their turn to make the tug? What did it feel like as the tugs got stronger? What happened if someone let go? Did the pressure even out as each took a turn?
Look at our example of a web of Creation. We are told that in the beginning God looked at the whole Creation and saw that it was good.
No part was insignificant or less worthy in God’s eyes, and each part was dependent on the rest for the whole glory of God to shine.
In the story of Noah, we are also told that even though the web of Creation was eventually broken and the whole world suffered the consequences of a huge flood disaster, God did not abandon the people or the planet. God gave the sign of the rainbow to remind people that they and the whole Creation belonged to God and to each other. Never again would they face such a huge environmental devastation. But people were also called to do their part to live sustainably and in harmony on the Earth.
God also calls each of us to be a sign of that covenant commitment – to be a rainbow – for the healing of Creation. When things are out of balance, everything else is affected. So it is important for each of us to do our part to honour and respect God’s covenant. How we behave really matters to the whole.
One way we can show we understand our place as a rainbow in Creation is to give of ourselves, our talents, our time, and our money. Through our church’s participation in PWS&D, we share our resources wherever else they are needed. We offer our gifts and prayers to support the work of partners around the world. We write letters and e-mails to the government on important issues and do our part in caring for Creation. We work in partnership with others to protect the Earth that provides life for all.
God uses our small gifts, and weaves them together with many other gifts into a stronger web to support the growth of sustainable communities for all God’s creatures around the planet. Working together to stop hunger and disease, to provide education, and to clean up the environment is the way we can help restore the balance in Creation. We can work to protect endangered spaces and endangered species so that they can flourish and live as God intended. And when people have enough good food to eat, clean water to drink, fuel to cook, and medicine for health, they can help others to also have enough for a good life, and a world in harmony.
With all of us acting together as God’s rainbows we can ask our governments to support this kind of work: education and health for all, good jobs, and strong communities. Then with God’s help our small efforts can grow into one big rainbow for peace and justice that can make a difference for the world and for all generations to come. Our little web today is a sign that God our Creator is in our midst. As we respond to the tug on our hearts, let us remember that we are not alone. Millions of rainbows are shining all around the planet, acting on God’s promise to love and provide for all living things. Together we can work toward the day when the people of the world will share Enough for All and care for the whole web of Creation.
Web of Creation Children's Story