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Opening (5 minutes), Session 15: What to Believe

In "Riddle and Mystery," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

  • Chalice or LED/battery-operated candle
  • Newsprint, markers and tape
  • Bell, tingsha chimes or other sound instrument
  • Handout 1, Today's Big Question and (optional) a plain envelope
  • "Today's Big Question" sign
  • Kid for the Day bag or box
  • Optional: Nametags and markers
  • Optional: Quiet background music and music player
  • Optional: Group covenant (Session 1) or revised covenant (Session 9)

Preparation for Activity

  • Post the "Today's Big Question" sign and a sheet of newsprint beneath it.
  • Write the chalice lighting words on another sheet of newsprint, and post.
  • Print out a copy of Handout 1. Fold it to conceal the text.
  • Optional: Set out nametags and supplies for new participants.
  • Optional: Choose soft background music to play during the Opening.
  • Optional: Post the group covenant.
  • Optional: Post an agenda for the session.

Description of Activity

Greet youth as they enter, and introduce yourself to any you do not already know. If the group uses nametags, invite everyone to wear one. If new youth join this session, add their names on card stock to the Kid for the Day bag.

Sound the bell or tingsha chimes to call for silence.

Reach into the Kid for the Day bag or box and select a name without looking. Announce the name and place the card back in the bag or box. Or, if the group decided to change how the Kid for the Day is selected, follow the new procedure now.

If a Kid for the Day seems reluctant, allow them to pass. Draw another name or invite the participant to select one.

Indicate where you have posted the chalice lighting words. Invite the Kid for the Day to light the chalice while you lead the group in reciting "May this chalice light show the way as we search for answers to our biggest questions and seek to understand life's deepest mysteries."

Invite the group to share a moment of silence. End the silence by sounding the bell or tingshas. If new participants have joined the group, invite all, in turn, to introduce themselves. You can do more of a check-in, but keep it focused.

You may wish to ask if anyone did any Taking It Home activities from the previous session and would like to briefly share what they did.

If you have posted a covenant, direct the group's attention to it and ask if anybody wants to suggest changes. Process suggestions quickly, and amend the covenant as needed.

Announce that it is time to hear the Big Question of the day. Hand the Kid for the Day a copy of Handout 1 and help them understand and implement the instructions. Write the question—How can I know what to believe?—on the newsprint under the "Today's Big Question" sign.

Ask the Kid for the Day to extinguish the chalice.

Including All Participants

If the group includes youth who may have difficulty reading, be sure you routinely allow the Kid for the Day to pass.

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 Wednesday, October 26, 2011.

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