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Activity time: 5 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Chalice candle or LED/battery-operated candle
  • Lighter and extinguisher, if needed
  • Labyrinth, with participants' name stones placed on it
  • Basket for name stones
  • Optional: Index cards or post-its, bold marker, and tape

Preparation for Activity

  • Review Hymn 1008 in Singing the Journey, "When Our Heart Is in a Holy Place ." Decide whether you prefer to have the children sing or recite the chorus words to close this session. If you will need the words and/or music to lead the group, place a copy of Singing the Journey near your chalice.
  • Customize, print out, and photocopy the Taking It Home section for all participants.
  • If you have a Word Wall, write the words "hospitality," and "welcome," and "hymn" with bold marker on index cards or post-its.

Description of Activity

Gather the group in a circle around the labyrinth. Relight the chalice. Invite the children to take their stones from the labyrinth, place them in the basket, and return to the circle.

If you have a Word Wall, say:

The words for our World Wall today are "hospitality," "welcome," and "hymn."

Show the group the index cards or post-its on which you have written "hospitality," "welcome," and "hymn." You may ask the children if they remember what each of these words means. You could ask them to tell you when they showed hospitality today, who welcomed John Murray, or what kind of song is a hymn. Affirm the correct definitions. Here are some you can use:

  • Hospitality: a polite and generous receiving of guests
  • Welcome: to receive or accept a person or persons gladly
  • Hymn: a song of praise, joy, or thanksgiving, often addressed to God or a deity

Post the words on the Word Wall, or ask a volunteer to do it.

Ask a few volunteers to help you fold or roll the labyrinth and put it away.

Next, invite everyone to hold hands and sing just the chorus to "When Our Heart Is in a Holy Place ," Hymn 1008 in Singing the Journey.

If you prefer, invite the children to recite the words to the song:

When our heart is in a holy place,

When our heart is in a holy place.

We are blessed with love and amazing grace.

When our heart is in a holy place.

Say in your own words:

Our faith home can be a welcoming place. So can our meeting space where we gather. When we make room for others and invite them to become part of our community, we are showing hospitality, and living our Unitarian Universalist values of acceptance and love. If we all lived our lives with acceptance and love, think of what a world it would be.

Extinguish the chalice.

Distribute the Taking It Home handout you have prepared. Remind the children to give the handout to their parents, and dismiss the group.

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For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.

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