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Activity 3: Time Capsule (15 minutes), Session 8: Love Surrounds Us in Our History

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

Materials for Activity

  • A large empty container, shoe box, or other container with a lid
  • A sheet of letterhead paper from your congregation, and a writing utensil
  • Quart size plastic baggies
  • A current, local newspaper and/or a congregational newsletter
  • Permanent marker
  • Items participants bring

Preparation for Activity

  • Arrange with congregational staff or leaders a place to "bury" the time capsule in the congregational building.
  • Ask participants in advance to bring in a small item they feel represents their church. Tell them their items will not be returned, so they should not choose items they treasure. Suggest a picture, an art project, a piece of writing, a poem—anything that tells a story about this moment in time for your congregation. Reinforce this request with an email or phone call to parents during the week preceding this activity.
  • Find a container to use as the time capsule. Label or decorate it. Note: You might purchase a hat box or decorative cardboard storage box at a craft store or discount department store.
  • Cut out one or more items, including the date, from your local newspaper or a congregational newsletter.
  • On letterhead paper, write a note explaining that the time capsule was put together in your congregation's Love Surrounds Us program, and list the children's names. Write the date you will store the time capsule. Optional: Leave room for all the children to sign the note.

Description of Activity

This activity demonstrates that Unitarian Universalism has a long history and we are part of its continuation into the future.

Gather participants in a circle with the container in the center. Explain, in your own words:

This time capsule will be put away in a safe place in the congregation. A long time from now, maybe when you are grown-ups, other people in the congregation will open the time capsule and see what the congregation was like years before.

Ask participants why they think someone would make a time capsule. What kinds of things might we learn if we opened a time capsule? What could people learn about us if they open our time capsule?

Go around the circle and ask participants to show the items they brought for the time capsule and why they chose it. After they speak, invite them to place their item in a baggie, if it will fit, to protect it. Have them place their item in the container.

Optional: Invite each participant to sign their names to the note you have written on letterhead.

Then put the note in a baggie and seal the container. Ask the group how long they should wait until it can be opened. Suggest at least 10 or 20 years. With permanent marker, write "This Time Capsule is not to be opened until ____."

Place the container in a congregational safe or storage area, as pre-arranged.

Process this activity by talking about why it is important that we leave information about ourselves and our world for people in the future.

Including All Participants

Invite participants who did not bring in an item for the capsule, to think of one thing they would want people to know about their congregation and have them, or help them, write their idea on a piece of paper. They can then fold the piece of paper and place it in a baggie. Assist anyone who needs help. Leaders may place items in the container.

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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