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Alternate Activity 3: Ranking Order (15 minutes), Session 3: Love is the Spirit of this Church

In "Love Connects Us," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

  • A list of committees at your congregation
  • Pencils
  • Timepiece (minutes)

Preparation for Activity

  • Calculate the number of three-person teams you will have. Copy the committee list for each team.
  • Find out the responsibilities of each committee on the list, so you can answer participants' questions.

Description of Activity

Divide participants into teams of three. Give each team a pencil and a copy of the committee list.

Say, in your own words:

Imagine that the Board of Directors of our congregations has determined there are too many committees. They want to eliminate some of them. Your task is to rank the committees in order of importance. Give a number "one" to the committee you think is the most important, a number "two" to the next important, and so on, until you have a ranking for each committee.

Let them know that this is a group activity and that each team member will have to agree on a ranking before it is officially determined. Tell them they will have ten minutes to accomplish this task and they may ask questions about any committee they are unfamiliar with. Say "Go!" to start the teams.

Watch the time and be available for any questions which may come up. Give the teams a one-minute warning. Then call "Time!" to signal the end of the exercise.

Ask the teams to share how they ranked the committees and why they made those selections. Encourage teams to explain how they decided which committee was the most important and which one was the least important on the list; lead them to articulate the criteria they used.

After each team has presented their rankings, note the similarities and differences in teams' responses.

Lead the group to compare the criteria used by the different teams to determine what committees are the most important to the congregational community. Did any groups get stuck, and not complete the ranking? If so, was it because they could not agree on criteria? Or, maybe they agreed that all the committees are equally important to the congregation.

Leave time to lead reflection on the experience with questions such as:

  • How difficult was it to make a decision as a group about this?
  • Suppose the congregation really was going to eliminate some of these committees? How do you think the disappearance of the "X" committee (give an example of a committee some children ranked least important) might affect how we share love with one another in our religious community?

Ask participants if they would give you permission to share their findings with the minister and the Board. If they agree, make sure to follow up. Your congregation's leadership may find it enlightening to know the children's perceptions of various congregational committees and their understanding of different committees' value.

Including All Participants

If the group has non-readers or any who struggle with reading, take time to read aloud the list of committees before signaling teams to "Go!"

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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