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Activity time: 2 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Chalice, candle and lighter or LED battery-operated candle
  • Centering table
  • A chime or bell
  • Newsprint, markers, and tape
  • Optional: Cloth for centering table
  • Optional: Stoles, including extras for visitors

Preparation for Activity

  • If the group designed an Opening ritual in Session 9, set out materials you need to lead it. Alternatively, prepare to lead the Opening described below: Set a chalice table with a cloth, a chalice, candle, and lighter or an LED battery-operated candle. Write the opening words on newsprint, and post.
  • Later in this session, you will talk about how you greet participants. Choose words and actions to use consistently in this session to greet participants-for example, with a simple "Hi" and a handshake.
  • Optional: If children will wear stoles during the session, make sure you have extra stoles for visitors. A child who begins to attend regularly can add their initials to a stole in Session 12 or 16.

Description of Activity

As participants enter, greet each child in the same manner.

Lead the Opening ritual designed in Session 9, Activity 4. Or, use this Opening ritual:

If the children wear stoles for Opening and Closing, distribute stoles. Invite the children to put on their stoles. Offer any visitors a stole and explain that they may wear it during the Opening time and the Closing time if they wish. Remind the children their stoles are a sign that everyone in the group is a worship leader.

Welcome all participants. Gather everyone in a circle around the chalice table. Ring the centering chime. Ask a volunteer to light the chalice. Lead the group to say these Opening words:

We gather together as Unitarian Universalists and members of the Signs of Our Faith community.

Together, we demonstrate our open hearts by welcoming new people into our community.

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