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Activity 5: Open Hearts Make a Faith Family
Activity time: 5 minutes
Materials for Activity
- A few quarters
Preparation for Activity
- Decide whether you will use the magic trick to introduce the discussion about “faith family.” If you plan to use the magic trick, practice it so you can do it easily while leading the group.
- Optional: Contact parents in advance so they can prepare their children for this activity with stories to share about their families’ active involvement in the congregation. You may wish to use Leader Resource 2, Letter to Parents.
Description of Activity
Guide the children to discuss how we enter faith families. Say, in your own words:
As Unitarian Universalists, we believe all families are important. We welcome many different types of families in our faith home. Can you name some of the families that belong to our faith family?
You can clarify the question by using children’s own families as examples. Be sure you mention different kinds of families, including single parents, adults who live alone, and adults who do not live with young children.
If you are using the magic trick to open a discussion, say, in your own words:
I wonder if people and their families become part of a faith family by magic? Who would like to see a magic trick?
Here is the trick: Sit at a fairly high table. Take a quarter and hold it up with your right hand so everyone can see it. Tell the children you will make the quarter disappear and reappear. Put the quarter in your left hand, place your right elbow on the table, make your right hand into a fist and place your head upon your right fist. Close your left hand, which has the coin, into a fist and rub your elbow. Pretend that the act has failed by saying “Ta dah!” and “accidentally” dropping the coin onto the table. Pick up the coin with your right hand, say you will try it again, place the coin in your left hand and repeat the same steps, dropping the coin on the table.
Pick up the coin with your right hand and pretend to put it in your left hand while saying you will try it again. Rub your right elbow with your left hand and open your left hand to show that the coin has disappeared. Then pretend to pull the coin out from behind your ear.
Invite some volunteers to learn the magic trick and show them how to perform it. Let them pair up and try it on each other. Assist any children who need it.
Now ask again (or for the first time, if you have chosen not to use the magic trick):
Do people become part of our faith family by magic? Not here one day, then just appear here the next?
Wait for their answer.
Guide a discussion with these words, or your own:
Once people start attending worship, coming to religious education programs, and becoming involved in the life of our congregation, they become part of our faith family. How is being part of a faith family the same as being part of your family?
Listen for and affirm answers that echo concepts the group has already explored concerning families. For example, members care for each other. A parent gives a baby a bath at home; someone who belongs to a faith family may bring food to the home of another member who is sick. Members perform different roles in a faith family. Instead of mother, father, uncle, and sister, a faith family may have a minister, an educator, a choir leader, a piano player, and students. Members of a faith home do necessary jobs such as cleaning up after coffee hour, handing out the Order of Service, and watering plants in the faith home. As members, we do some things because they have to be done (such as mowing the lawn) and others just because we want to make other members feel loved (such as providing flowers for the altar or celebrating birthdays).
Invite children to share any stories they might have about when they started coming to this congregation. Ask them to tell about the activities they and their families do at the faith home or with its other members. As you go, make any connections you can between the activities that take place in a family home and the activities that take place in a faith home, and who does them.
Affirm that is great to have a faith family because that is more people to love.