Love is something if you give it away, you end up having more. — Malvina Reynolds (from the song "Magic Penny")
This session explores the essence of a beloved community as sharing the good times as well as the bad with each other; this is what creates a true spirit of love in a religious community. When people are tied together by the spirit of love, we share the ordinary moments of life as well as the momentous occasions. When love is the basis of a shared experience, we are motivated to overcome conflict and reach out to help one another. Therefore, when love is the spirit of the congregation, our religious community helps us, each and all, to grow and to support one another in both good times and bad.
One way people in Unitarian Universalist communities share with each other is by lighting candles of joys and concerns (Activity 4). If your congregation regularly engages in this ritual, this session will place the ritual for these participants in a context of how people in caring communities support one another. If sharing joys and concerns is not a ritual of your congregation, you may want to replace Activity 4 with one of the alternate activities.
This session will:
- Explore the idea that love is most powerful when it is given away or shared
- Demonstrate how our beloved religious communities are places of sharing, caring, and love
- Lead participants to experience their role in creating, in their congregation, the beloved community that shares experiences together and offers caring to one another.
- Experience and respond to a story about how love becomes more powerful when it is given away
- Experience activities which require working together to accomplish an objective
- Understand how sharing joys and concerns together is one way people in a beloved community can support one another in good times and bad
- Reflect on how we all have a role in creating our beloved communities.