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Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Chalice, candle, and matches or LED/battery-operated candle
  • Newsprint, markers, and tape
  • Bucket 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 bucket 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 "help one another." Why do you think it says "help one another" rather than "help other people?" Can you think of ways that we help one another? What would be an example of your helping someone? We will write ways we help on our bucket ornaments.

Invite everyone to select a bucket ornament and write on it a way people can help one another. Allow participants a few minutes to write. Then, invite them, one at a time, to tie their ornaments to the wall hanging, and, if they feel like sharing what they have written, read 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 unable to 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 offer someone a loving gesture of kindness. This may help them prepare. They can also pass.

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