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Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Chalice, candle, and lighter or an LED/battery-operated candle
  • A chime or a small bell
  • Newsprint, markers, and tape
  • Sign-in sheet and pens
  • Name tags and markers
  • Music player, and three songs for gathering
  • Copies of Singing the Living Tradition, the Unitarian Universalist hymnbook
  • Optional: Talking stick (or another item to pass to each speaker)
  • Optional: Refreshments

Preparation for Activity

  • Obtain recordings of three songs from the list that follows to provide music for gathering. Set up music player and queue the songs. Songs: "Can't Buy Me Love," The Beatles (1964); "If I Had a Million Dollars," Barenaked Ladies (1993); "Money (That's What I Want)," The Beatles (1963); "Money (Sitting Pretty)" from the musical Cabaret (1966); "Money, Money, Money," Abba (1976); "Money," Pink Floyd (1973); "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)," Pet Shop Boys (1985); "We Need Some Money," Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers (1987); "Mercedes Benz," Janis Joplin (1967).
  • Place chairs in a circle. Set copies of Singing the Living Tradition on chairs.
  • Set a small center table with chalice and lighter.
  • Write on newsprint an agenda for this workshop (Workshop 1, Talking about Money agenda.)
  • Begin playing the music prior to the first participant's arrival.
  • Optional: Set out refreshments.

Description of Activity

Greet each participant at the door and welcome them to the workshop. Invite each person to sign in, prepare a name tag, and find a place to sit in the circle.

When everyone has arrived, stop the music and welcome participants. Sound the chime. Invite participants into quiet reflection as you prepare to enter into a time of centering and sharing. Emphasize that your purpose in being together is to support one another in spiritual and faith development in a way that is both challenging and joyful!

Invite a participant to light the chalice, as you share these words:

We light this chalice in the spirit of the love that calls us together;

for the care that we commit to show one another;

and in the hope that we are mindful and deliberate

in the journey we undertake together today.

Lead Responsive Reading 660 in Singing the Living Tradition, "To Live Deliberately" by Unitarian Henry David Thoreau. Read aloud the words in plain type and indicate for participants to respond with the words in italics.

If you have chosen to use a talking item, introduce it now. Explain that it will be passed to the one who is speaker as a reminder to focus on the one speaking rather than engaging in side conversations, interrupting, or planning one's own next words. Go around the circle (passing the talking item, if you are using one) and give each person a chance to introduce themselves with their name, the name of their favorite song about money, and why that song resonates with them.

Sound the chime to signal the end of this centering time.

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