Thanks to the MN Conference UCC COMMAntary for sharing this Great Idea from First Congregational UCC, Grand Marais!

The article states:
“Last fall, members of First Congregational UCC in Grand Marais wondered together how they might stay connected through the pandemic, beyond online worship. Rev. Enno K. Limvere… remembered the story of 1,000 cranes, based on a young girl’s life in Hiroshima…”

Limvere recognized that the story could help in facilitating conversations with children about death and disruption and through weekly zoom calls and a YouTube video, families learned to make Japanese paper cranes. By delivering 30-40 cranes per week (and one fourth grader who contributed 95), the sanctuary was eventually filled with 1,000 beautiful paper cranes.

Read the full article here.

You could build on this as congregations emerge and begin to meet in person by folding cranes together and sharing them in your neighborhood. Share the story of Sadako Sasaki via book or video. Make cranes out of earth-friendly and biodegradable paper so they are not pollution. Place cranes at neighbors’ houses, near schools or nursing homes or other places where people congregate. Hang them from the outside of your church building to welcome folks back to worship.

Or, bring them to places where the pandemic has left a specific wound, or where acts of injustice or violence have occurred. Let the children – and everyone – learn about these particular, local acts of injustice, racialized terror, or pandemic-based grief. Reflect on what the cranes represent: prayers of peace, healing, hope, and reconciliation. Leave the cranes as signs of growing hope within your community.

For those who are daunted by crane folding, see a parallel Great Idea using Chalk Art.