Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Chalice, candle, and matches or LED/battery-operated candle
- Newsprint, markers, and tape
- Question mark ornaments cut from card stock (see Welcoming and Entering)
- Markers, pens, and pencils
Preparation for Activity
- Set up chalice.
- Write the words of James Vila Blake's covenant on newsprint, and post:
Love is the spirit of this church,
and service its law.
This is our great covenant:
To dwell together in peace,
To seek the truth in love,
And to help one another. - James Vila Blake
- If you will not do the Welcoming and Entering activity (where the early arriving participants make question mark ornaments), make some in advance-one for each participant, plus a few extra.
- Set ornaments and pencils, pens, and markers by the chalice.
Description of Activity
Invite a participant to light the chalice. Lead the group to read aloud the Blake covenant. Say something like:
The covenant we said together talks about our covenant to "seek the truth in love." What happens when discovering the truth is something that is painful or uncomfortable for you? Can you think of some truths we might discover which could be hurtful to us? What would be an example of your seeking the truth-or telling the truth when it was difficult to do so? On our question mark ornaments, we will write ways we are truth seekers even when it is hard to do.
Invite everyone to select a question mark ornament and a marker, pen, or pencil. Encourage them to write on their ornament an example of seeking or telling the truth which was uncomfortable to do or had a painful result. Allow participants a few minutes to write. Then, invite them, one at a time, to tie their ornaments to the wall hanging, and as they do so, if they feel like sharing what they have written, read or say it aloud to the group.
After everyone has had a chance to attach an ornament, gather around the chalice and extinguish it together.
Including All Participants
Invite participants who cannot write on an ornament to share verbally while you or another participant serves as "scribe." If you know some participants may feel uncomfortable sharing in a group, let them know as they enter the room that later they will be invited to share about ways people can seek truth. This may help them prepare an idea before the sharing time; they can also pass.