In "Love Connects Us," a Tapestry of Faith program
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
The opening activity brings participants together for a chalice-lighting ritual which honors the coming together of this community in the spirit of love, and reintroduces the Blake covenant.
Invite a participant to light the chalice. Lead the group to read aloud the Blake covenant:
Love is the spirit of this church
And service its law.
And to help one another.
Continue by saying something like:
Today we continue to explore how we come together in the spirit of love. We will learn a new way to show that "love is the spirit of this church."
Ask participants if any are familiar with the Golden Rule and know what it means. Affirm or explain that the Golden Rule, also known as the ethic of reciprocity, is often stated as:
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Ask if participants know what religion this comes from. Some may say "Christian" or "Jewish." Tell them that this wording comes from Hebrew scripture (in the Book of Leviticus), this notion is also central to Jesus' teachings and some form of this ethic of reciprocity exists in all major religions of the world. As a result, we consider it a universal value which is affirmed by people of all religious faiths.
Ask your Golden Rule reader to present each of the sayings, one by one with pauses in between, as participants take turns coming forward to take a strip of paper with a Golden Rule saying on it and hang it on the wall or your wall hanging.
When all the sayings have been posted, invite reflection with questions such as:
It may be tempting to select the best reader of the group to be your designated reader. However, if you distribute the Golden Rule sayings ahead of time, a participant who might normally be uncomfortable reading in front of a group can take the time to practice at home and learn the words they need to read. This can be an empowering experience for someone who normally struggles with reading aloud and give them a chance to shine in an area which is usually challenging for them.
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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