In "Creating Home," a Tapestry of Faith program
Be aware that some children may not have chosen a name stone and will need to do that now. Always have extra stones so you can offer the newcomers and any guests a chance to be part of the ritual. Being welcoming in this way models the ritual of hospitality the group will formally explore in Session 12: John Murray.
When all are seated, light the chalice and recite these opening words. Invite everyone to say with you:
We are Unitarian Universalists,
with minds that think,
hearts that love,
and hands that are ready to serve.
Tell the children that one at a time, they may place their stones upon the labyrinth. You may say:
This labyrinth reminds us that we are taking a journey together. Every session is yet another portion of that journey. Each time we meet, you will be asked to place your name stone within the labyrinth. Each stone is a symbol of us as members of this Creating Home community. While placing your stones, please say your name and share any joys or concerns you have had since we last met. Joys are the things that make you feel happy and concerns are worries. Sharing our joys and concerns with each other is a tradition in our faith community."
Invite children to come up, one at a time, to place his/her stone upon the labyrinth, say his/her name, and voice any joys and concerns. You may have to prompt each individual participant until the group gets used to this opening ritual. When all have placed their name stones on the labyrinth, affirm, "It is very good to be together."
Tell the group that today's session introduces some symbols of our Unitarian Universalist faith. You may say, in your own words:
A symbol can be a picture, an object, a song, or anything that stands for something else. Usually, the "something else" is something you can't see, like a feeling, or an idea, or something really big, like a whole country. Symbols can make it easy for us to share feelings and ideas with one another.
Extinguish the chalice.
Now, ask the children to touch the place on their body where their heart is (and demonstrate). Ask if any of them know what the heart inside their body looks like. If you have brought a picture of a real heart, show them. Then ask the children to draw a heart with their fingers in the air. Most children will draw the heart shape. If you have brought a picture of the heart shape, show it to the group. Or, draw the heart shape on the newsprint you have posted.
Ask what children think of when they see the heart shape. Most will say "love" or "I love you." You can explain to children that the heart shape is a symbol for the heart inside our bodies, which we can't actually see, and a symbol for love, which is a feeling that we cannot actually see.
Ask the group if they can think of any other symbols. You can prompt them with:
If you have brought symbols, show them to the group. Or, you may draw them on newsprint.
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Last updated on Friday, May 17, 2013.
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