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Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Worship or centering table
- Chalice, candle, and lighter or LED battery-operated candle
- Time piece (minutes)
- Chime or bell
- Copies of Singing the Living Tradition, the UUA hymnbook, for all participants
- Optional: Cloth for worship/centering table
- Optional: Microphone
- Optional: Keyboard or piano
Preparation for Activity
- Arrange the worship or centering table, including the chalice, so all participants can see it when they are seated.
- Choose a social justice hymn from Singing the Living Tradition that is familiar to participants. Possibilities include Hymn 119, "Once to Every Soul and Nation;" Hymn 121, "We'll Build a Land;" Hymn 140, "Hail the Glorious Golden City;" Hymn 146, "Soon the Day Will Arrive;" Hymn 157, "Step By Step;" Hymn 162, "Gonna Lay Down My Sword and Shield;" Hymn 168, "One More Step;" and Hymn 170," We are a Gentle, Angry People."
- Optional: Invite a musician to teach and/or accompany the hymn.
Description of Activity
Invite a participant to light the chalice while you lead a unison reading of Reading 449 from Singing the Living Tradition: "We hallow this time together by kindling the lamp of our heritage."
Lead the group in singing the hymn you have chosen.
After the song, invite participants to silently recall times in their lives when they have been aware of their own power to discern their own religious understandings and to recall times when they did not believe themselves to have such power. Allow a few minutes for silent reflection, and then tell participants this workshop explores liberal religion's relationship to power and authority through the stories of the 1648 Cambridge Platform in New England and the 16th- and 17th-century Socinian movement in Poland.