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Opening (5 minutes), Workshop 3: The Stirrings Of Compassion: Caring For One Another

In "Spirit of Life," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

  • Altar or centering table
  • Cloth for covering altar or centering table
  • Chalice, candle and lighter or LED battery-operated candle
  • Handout 1, The Stirrings of Compassion
  • Copies of the Unitarian Universalist hymnbook Singing the Living Tradition
  • Optional: Small votive candle in holder
  • Optional: Narrow taper candle in candlestick
  • Optional: A recording of "Spirit of Life" and a music player

Preparation for Activity

  • Review and make copies of Handout 1.
  • Prepare the altar or centering table with the cloth you have brought, a chalice and candle, a votive candle, a taper candle, and matches or a lighter.
  • Gather copies of Singing the Living Tradition, enough for all participants. Obtain large print and/or braille copies for participants who need them.
  • Optional: Light the votive candle in advance and place the taper nearby so that chalice lighter can use the taper to carry the flame to the chalice.
  • Optional: Arrange for musical accompaniment.
  • Optional: Set up and queue your music player.

Description of Activity

Offer these, or similar, words of welcome:

Welcome to this program on Unitarian Universalist spirituality as expressed in our congregation's compassion and care for one another. Caring is an expression of our spirituality and our spiritual life can sustain us in our caring.

This workshop asks, "How can we grow to experience hope and healing in the midst of life's challenges?" I'm so glad you are here to explore this question with us today.

Distribute Handout 1 and indicate the unison chalice-lighting words. Invite a participant to light the chalice while you lead the group in reciting the unison chalice-lighting words. Invite participants to read silently along with you as you read aloud the Unitarian Universalist Principle and Source that this workshop highlights.

Introduce the workshop with these or similar words:

Please speak your name into the gathering. As we listen to one another's names, let us remember that each person has so much to deal with in life—pressures, anxieties, grief, and struggles. Let us hold each person in our compassion and care.

Invite participants to take turns saying their names clearly.

Explain that this workshop focuses on the line "all the stirrings of compassion."

Invite participants to rise in body or spirit and sing "Spirit of Life," by Carolyn McDade, Hymn 123 in Singing the Living Tradition.

If your congregation has a tradition of using body movement or sign language to accompany this song, you may invite participants to share in this movement while they sing together.

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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