Activity 2: Moments of Grace
Activity time: 40 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Newsprint for all participants
- Markers (several for each participant)
- Leader Resource 1, Moments of Graced Guided Meditation
Preparation for Activity
- Review Leader Resource 1 so you will be comfortable leading the guided meditation. You may wish to include a second reader to tell the parable within the meditation.
- Arrange your space so all participants have a comfortable seat for guided meditation, as well as enough room to work on their own piece of newsprint.
Description of Activity
Participants build awareness and understanding of events in their lives that were turning points - moments of grace - and reflect on how their past shapes their present and their vision for the future.
Distribute newsprint and markers. Ask participants to draw a line across the length of the paper. This line represents their life. Have them mark the line evenly for every five years of their life. If it is helpful to them, they can also write the actual year at each mark.
Next, invite participants to get comfortable and prepare for a guided meditation in which they will think about some events in their lives. Read the guided meditation in Leader Resource 2.
After the meditation, invite participants to mark their timelines with "moments of grace" in their lives. They can use different colors for different types of events if they like. With each event or moment, have them think about (or write down) what change resulted. Tell them they will have 15 minutes to complete this portion of the exercise. You may want to play some music during this period. Check in with each participant to ensure that they understand the activity.
After 15 minutes, invite participants to form groups of three to share their timelines. Ask them to describe particular events or moments and the effect each had on their lives. Allow each participant five minutes to share with their group, reminding them to switch speakers at five-minute intervals.
Then regather the whole group for discussion about the exercise. You might ask:
- What moments of grace did you identify that you hadn't considered before today?
- Did anything cause difficulty for you in this exercise?
- How can we use the idea of moments of grace to help us better understand ourselves?
To conclude, tell the group that the next activity will guide them to look at how congregations experience turning points and what that has to do with leadership.
Including All Participants
This activity may evoke difficult memories. Be sensitive to participants' emotional states. Make it clear they may "pass" in both small and large group discussion.