The 10 Elements of the Matrix for creating Jams:
1. UU Faith Formation (Core Stories, Principles and Sources)
2. World Religions
3. Kid and Youth Culture
4. Music (Theme Songs for the month)
5. Life Issues
6. Talents in the Congregation
7. Sermon topics
8. Justice Making Projects
9. Multiple Intelligences
10. Sensory Play
We review these elements each month to make sure that we are offering Jams which cover the aspects of the themes.
Here are a few examples:
For the theme of "Letting Go," our musician noted that we HAD to use the song "Let It Go" from the currently popular Disney show of "Frozen." She used element #3 "Kid Culture" and #4 "Music," from the Matrix, to think of that one.
For the theme of "Resistance," we used an activity from my own curriculum Spirit of Adventure about Viljhamur Stefansson, Icelandic Unitarian Arctic Explorer, in which we challenged the kids to overcome their resistance to new things and taste a variety of canned fish. We used Element #10 "Sensory Play" to come up with tasting as a way to experience resistance.
For the theme of "Ancestry," we invited a congregant who shared her story of the Irish village where her family originated, using Element #6 "Talents in the Congregation," to remind us to ask for such stories from our own folks.
The Matrix is written up on a poster, so we can percolate the elements together. For those who are writing up their own thematic activities, try it! Let me know if you have other elements to add!