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Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Chalice, candle, and matches or LED/battery-operated candle
  • Newsprint, markers, and tape

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

Description of Activity

Invite a participant to light the chalice. Lead the group to read aloud the Blake covenant. Say something like:

Today we will continue to explore how we covenant "to seek the truth in love."

Indicate the photos and pictures of optical illusions you have displayed. Ask volunteers to share their observations about the images and say which image is their favorite and explain why. Invite reflection with questions such as:

  • Why does our brain automatically perceive one image in a picture that actually has two?
  • Why can it be difficult to shift our perspective to see the other image in the pictures?
  • Why does it become easier to shift our perspective once we have managed it the first time?
  • What do these pictures reveal about the way our brain perceives information? (We can perceive differently at different times; our brain perceives automatically, but we can intentionally change our perception; when we know what to look for, it's easier to see.)

After everyone who wants to has shared, gather around the chalice and extinguish it together.

Including All Participants

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 their responses to the optical illusions. This may help them prepare; they can also pass. You might also consider forming small groups for children to respond to the optical illusions.

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