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Opening (15 minutes), Workshop 5: Money and Society

In "The Wi$dom Path: Money, Spirit, and Life," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

  • Chalice, candle, and lighter or LED/battery-operated candle
  • A chime or a small bell
  • Copies of the UUA hymnbook supplement, Singing the Journey
  • Newsprint, markers, and tape
  • Story, "The Daydreamer"
  • Several objects for the centering table suggestive of dreams, such as a dream catcher, a starfish, a rainbow colored object, a small stuffed animal, a small decorative treasure box or a small clay pot
  • Optional: Talking stick (or another item to pass to each speaker)
  • Optional: Refreshments

Preparation for Activity

  • Place chairs in a circle. Set copies of Singing the Journey on chairs.
  • Set a small center table with chalice and lighter.
  • Read the story "The Daydreamer" and prepare to present it to the group. To best engage the group, practice telling rather than reading the story.
  • Write workshop agenda on newsprint, and post.
  • Optional: Set out refreshments.

Description of Activity

Sound the chime and invite participants into quiet reflection as you prepare to enter into a time of centering and sharing.

Ask a volunteer to light the chalice as you share these words:

May this flame,eternal symbol of transformation,fire our curiosity, strengthen our wills, and sustain our courageas we seek what is good within and around us.

Lead "Meditation on Breathing," Hymn 1009 in Singing the Journey.

Say in these words or your own:

This workshop focuses on differing economic realities in our society and the cultural expectation that a successful life is equated with financial prosperity. America has been called "the land of dreams." Most of us dream of success, yet how you define success and how your "success" affects others are related to your position on the spectrum of wealth and income.

Share the story "The Daydreamer." If you feel comfortable doing so, tell the story rather than reading it. Afterward, ask participants if they have ever had "daydreams" about their lives and what they might achieve financially. Have those daydreams motivated, discouraged, or distracted them (or perhaps a combination of the three)? Invite participants to briefly share their daydreams of financial success; if the centering table includes symbolic objects, you might invite participants to choose an object to incorporate into their daydream story. If you have chosen to use a talking stick, remind participants that it will be passed to the one who is speaking as a reminder to focus on the speaker rather than planning one's own next words.

Say:

May our time together be made holy by the sharing of stories, the gift of good listening, and the joy of being held in community.

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

Including All Participants

Be considerate of participants with mobility limitations. A song leader can invite people to "rise in body or spirit;" ensure that the option to remain seated is communicated.

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 Friday, November 22, 2013.

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