01 JAN

Celebrating the ECK Spiritual New Year in the Family

Deinma Ateli

Toward the end of the summer, my daughter’s nursery sent us a white sheet of paper with twelve boxes representing the months of the year. We were asked to fill in family celebrations so they could celebrate them with her. We included her grandma’s birthday in September, and we added the ECK Spiritual New Year on October 22.

In late September, the owner of the nursery asked me how the ECK Spiritual New Year is celebrated. I told her every year has a theme and said I was going to get back to her with the theme of the coming new year. A day or so later, I told her it was The Year of Thanksgiving. Meanwhile she had gone to the ECK website and tried to buy a book for kids, but it would have taken more time than she had, so she gave up. I was so happy with her effort that I promised to get her the suitable materials and a storybook.

In the following days, I discussed this with friends. One of them had about five of the Illustrated ECK Parables booklets that were no longer suitable for her teenage son. Another friend mentioned I could give the nursery images from the ECK Parable & Activity Kit for Youth. I accepted the Parables booklets from the friend and then contacted our Youth and Family Program director, who guided me to where I could download and print the activity kit. Prior to all this, I had given the owner of the nursery a copy of ECKANKAR’S Spiritual Experiences Guidebook. Now I decided to give them the Illustrated ECK Parables booklet titled One Small Thing for Love and some of the coloring sheets, including “My heart sings when . . . .”

To our surprise, the nursery made a New Year card for our family and, on October 22, told the kids it was our daughter’s religious celebration. They read the ECK parable to the kids, and the children were given the activity sheets to color. The nursery then posted a lovely message on their Facebook page. It showed our daughter, Abiye, doing her coloring activity, and also the card we received from her school.

The post said, Today one of our children is celebrating ECKANKAR. This is their spiritual New Year and is a celebration of love. The children listened to the story “One Small Thing for Loveand then colored in pictures for someone they love.