In "Love Will Guide Us," a Tapestry of Faith program
This activity invites children to experience a ritual enacted in many Unitarian Universalist congregations. Sharing joys and concerns can deepen a group's sense of community. It gives participants a chance to share a portion of their lives in a unique way, encourages listening to others and, in many cases, makes a link with the adult worship experience.
Introduce the concept of sharing joys and concerns by saying something like:
As a community of caring people who are kind to each other, we want to know what has made you very happy or what has made you sad. You are invited to put a flame on one of these felt candles, place it on this felt board, and then share your joy or concern. Everyone in the room is asked to listen with respect. You do not have to say anything at all, if you do not want to.
Invite the children to come forward one at a time. As children share, listen without comment.
Instead of sharing their joys and concerns, invite children to light a candle and, if they wish, answer a question. A question to fit this session might be "What is an animal you know well and what is one thing you know about what they like or don't like?"
If any children are reluctant to stand to address the group, allow them to speak joys and concerns from where they sit or invite them to light a candle silently.
This sharing circle can be a vital part of congregational ministry. Many congregations have in place a safe congregation policy in the event a participant reveals they are being hurt by someone. Alert your religious educator, minister, or Board president to any troubling issue that arises in this sharing.
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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