Our commitment to anti-racism is illuminated in the steps we take to educate ourselves and work for change. Join us for a self-guided walk on the nature trail beautifully lit with ice luminaries created by our Westwood community and reflect on our place in God’s world to build equity and show love.
Masks and social distancing required; all ages are welcome! The entrance to the trail is at the berm, at the top of the EAST parking lot. Be ready for off-road trail walking down by the lake. Bring a hot beverage to enjoy!
Make Ice Luminaries!
Help us light the trail by creating ice luminaries. This is an easy winter project- we hope you will make a bunch! All you need is water, buckets/containers, and a few cold Minnesota nights.
Deliver your ice luminaries to Westwood anytime before Friday Feb. 19th. Put them under the blue tarp near the EAST parking lot (we will put them on the trail). Candle donations (that stay lit for 3+ hours) are appreciated!
Support BBIA Organizations
Another way to step forward in anti-racism is by supporting Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian (BBIA) organizations. As you make ice luminaries or come to walk the trail, we encourage you to make a donation (any amount is appreciated!). Here are a few organizations to consider:
Ran across this article today. Chalk drawing protests that were power washed or street swept away, over and over. City officials called it ‘graffiti’ and it can now be grounds for a citation. It doesn’t really matter where it happened in the US, we know things like this happen all the time in every state.
Use this article to open up age-appropriate anti-racism conversations with your kids. Read the article (or parts of it) together. Ask what surprised them. Where did they see racism at work in what happened? What would be an anti-racist ally response to what happened?
Then get out the chalk. Give your kid(s) a place to protest by creating a Black Lives Matter chalk drawing on the driveway, sidewalk, or road. And keep talking. The action of drawing Black Lives Matter is great, but it’s the conversation and questions about racism and activism that help give our kids language to be anti-racist allies.
As you draw, consider listening to a podcast to learn more about racism in the US, or hear what protestors are doing to keep Black Lives Matter growing in the US, or listen to music that talks about change.
And after it rains, write it again. And again. And again.
In celebration of earth day, we’ve been hosting an “earth day” challenge at Westwood. It has been so fun and uplifting to see pictures of how you are celebrating God’s good creation!
One of my personal favorite things people do to help out mother earth is go on litter walks and pick up trash. In this new era, it is a bit tricky to safely make that happen, with the shortage of gloves and the need for them in medical settings. So instead, I’ve made up a nature scavenger hunt for you to take a walk, enjoy this beautiful weekend, and look out for the beauty in creation! You can add your own items to it before you set out, or follow along on the hunt, either way! There are pictures next to the words so non-readers can play along, too! Enjoy God’s good creation!
We all need encouragement- and it’s a heartwarming surprise to stumble on when you’re out on a walk.
Write on a trail, a sidewalk, at the end of your driveway facing the road, on the road, or on a neighbor’s driveway! Kids can draw awesome pictures!
Running out of chalk? Make DIY chalk paint with the leftover pieces. Put one color in a ziplock bag- give your kids something to mash it to dust with (yay!)- put the chalk dust in a container and mix in water until it’s pancake batter consistency. Paint brush power and boom!
Hold onto your [winter] hats folks, it’s a windy day!
Something about the wind swirling around my face helps me visualize God everywhere, being breathed in, creating motion and direction, and surrounding me. And if I’m the ‘kite’- I soar, I crash, I try again and again and again, and the wind [God] is always there for me.
Looking for a DIY kid project for today? Homemade kites!
Thank God for days like today! (Especially when snow is in the upcoming forecast- erk!) Getting outside is great for all ages and a healthy way to socially distance without feeling so isolated. At my house (note- I have 3 awesome & energetic boys- 5, 8, & 10!) it can take some cajoling to get everyone out the door (yes, you still need to wear a jacket!), but once we’re outside it’s like a reset button. I love how well designed this ‘system’ is- outdoors + movement = reset, way to go God!
Looking for a chance to connect your kid(s) to God and the outdoors? Just shout it! THANK YOU GOD FOR THIS DAY! THANK YOU GOD FOR MESSY MUD! THANK YOU GOD FOR SUN ON MY FACE! With the heaviness of our dramatically shifted lives, it’s even more important to find moments to be thankful whenever possible. Calms the soul and brings us back to the moment we are in.
Okay! Time to share! What outdoor activities are you up to?