Activity time: 5 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Conundrum Corner poster/banner
- Six pencils or sticks, four about five inches long and two about 3 inches long, set up in an equation like this: III=I, with a package of matches sitting nearby
- Chalice and matches
- Optional: Newsprint, markers and tape
- Optional: Recording of "Amazing Grace" and music player
- Optional: Nametags and markers
- Optional: Decorative cloth for Conundrum Corner
Preparation for Activity
- Place the equation and sign on display in the Conundrum Corner.
- Optional: Decide if you will continue to play "Amazing Grace" at Opening and Closing. Feel free to take a break from it if you feel the routine is getting old. You could also vary the practice by playing different versions of the song. If you decide to continue, have your recording ready to play.
- Optional: Write chalice-lighting words on newsprint, and post.
- Optional: Prepare and post an agenda of the day's activities.
Description of Activity
As participants enter, greet them. If you have newcomers, greet them warmly and be sure they know others in the room. Give them nametags if others have them. Ask newcomers and old timers alike to look at the Conundrum Corner, but do not say anything more about it. In answer to any questions about it, say you will be talking about it later.
If playing "Amazing Grace," stop the music or reduce the volume to a very low background level.
Lead the group in the day's opening rituals-a chalice lighting, a moment of focusing silence, and a moment of sharing.
Light the chalice, or let a youth do so, and speak these words (asking the group to join you if you have posted them):
May this light shine today on the history of Unitarianism.
Ask the group to be silent for a moment as they reflect on the opening words and settle in for the session. End the silence by saying "blessed be," or other appropriate words. Ask the youth to raise a hand if they have ever felt guilty. Assure them that you will not ask what they have felt guilty about. Ask if anybody has felt guilty in the past week-but again, do not ask the reason. Say that guilt is one of the subjects you will discuss during the session because it is one of the possible consequences of doing wrong. Another subject you will discuss is the idea that people's actions have consequences.
Extinguish the chalice without ceremony and move the chalice table aside as necessary to allow movement in the room.