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Activity 3: Acting on Our Covenant

Activity time: 20 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers, and tape
  • Timepiece (minutes)

Preparation for Activity

  • 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

Form teams of three to five participants. Say, in these words or your own:

We Unitarian Universalists are a living faith with the power to act and evolve. That is why our covenants are not unchanging documents but dynamic ones which we can decide, as a group, to change.

Invite each group to write another line they think should be part of the Blake covenant. Then, they can decide how they wish to share their line with the entire group:

1. Have one member of their team act it out charades-style (as they did in Activity 1).

2. Have one team member draw pictures on newsprint to represent it.

3. Do a role play skit which reveals it.

Invite the groups to think about the treehouse story and how the children at that church came up with their covenant. What might have been in that covenant? Could it be an idea that is not in the Blake covenant, but should be?

Give the teams five minutes to write a line to add to the covenant. Then, tell them they have another few minutes to plan how they will present it to the other groups.

When time is up, encourage one team to go first. After three minutes, call "time." Ask for one final guess, then ask the presenting team to reveal what they were trying to act out or draw.

Allow all the teams to present their additions to the Blake covenant. Then, invite reflection with questions such as:

  • How did your team choose to present their additions to the covenant? Was it easy to determine what they were trying to get across?
  • Did the groups choose any similar ideas to add to the Blake covenant, or were all the ideas different from each other? Why do you suppose that is?
  • Which new addition does our entire group like best? Why?
  • What does it mean to be "active creators of our faith?"

Including All Participants

Some participants are hesitant to share or perform in front of others. Remind the teams of the option to have just one person act out or draw their idea, and make sure teams allow any member to "pass" on presenting to the entire group.

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