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Opening (5 minutes), Session 9: Spirituality And Me

In "Amazing Grace," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

  • Conundrum Corner poster/banner
  • A picture frame with blank photo
  • 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 blank photograph 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 if you feel the routine is getting old. You could also vary the program 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 help us to see and to know our deepest, most spiritual selves, the place of soul and conscience.

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 go around the room and say on a scale of 1 to 10 how virtuous they have been in the last week. Explain that a 1 means they did a lot wrong this week, and a 10 means they were perfect and they did not do even one thing wrong. Avoid sounding too serious about this; you do not want the youth to feel they have stumbled into a confession booth or that you will be reporting scores to parents right after the session. To keep things light, you might suggest they think about what Santa might have said if he had been watching and judging them during the week. Assure the group you will not be asking for details of wrongs committed.

Extinguish the chalice without ceremony and move the chalice table aside as necessary to allow movement in the room.

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Last updated on Wednesday, October 26, 2011.

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