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Faith In Action: Covenant Search
Activity time: 0 minutes
Materials for Activity
- A copy of your congregation's covenant
- Optional: Handout 1, The UU Principles
Preparation for Activity
- Become familiar with the congregation's covenant. Prepare to share it with the children in language they will understand. If the group includes strong readers, make copies for the children to share.
- Plan a tour of the congregation. In advance, identify signs of the congregational covenant in action, to point out to the children. Some may be obvious-for example, the covenant language is probably printed in a publication or posted on a wall. Others may be more subtle-for example, you may see a hand-held microphone which is passed around so individuals can take turns speaking in a congregational meeting. See other suggested signs of covenant, below.
- Optional: If the congregation does not have a covenant or the covenant language is too wordy or abstract to guide this activity, base the activity on the UU Principles instead of a congregational covenant.
Description of Activity
Children look for signs of a covenant in the congregation. Or, the children search for signs that people in the congregation have agreed to share the UU Principles as a guide for supporting one another's UU faith journeys.
Ask the children: What do you think it looks like when a group of people follow a covenant-promises they have made to be together in ways that show our UU faith? (Or: What do you think it looks like when a group of people agree on UU Principles as a guide for how to take a faith journey together?) Feed the group phrases from the congregational covenant (or, the UU Principles from Handout 1) and encourage them to think of signs that these promises, or Principles, are being honored.
Let's use our congregation's covenant (or, the UU Principles we share) as a map, and take a tour of our congregation. Let's find out what these promises (or Principles) look like when a UU group is keeping them.
Optional: Distribute copies of the congregational covenant (or Handout 1).
Lead the tour. Take care to articulate how each stop on the tour expresses a specific promise (or Principle). Make space for children to come up with their own interpretations of how an item or room shows adherence to a promise (or Principle). Their observations may surprise you.
Sample "tour stops," with language from Handout 1, The UU Principles:
- A pulpit, a conference table with chairs in a circle, a "talking stick" = We agree to listen to one another.
- A garden, a recycling bin, a notice urging people to conserve water or electricity, posted information or photos related to a UU Partner Church = Caring for our planet earth and life that shares it.
- Books or a library, a classroom, a newsletter, a computer center = Keep on learning together. / Search for what is true and right
- Disability accommodations = We believe each person is important. / We believe all people should be treated fairly and kindly.
- A room or items used in congregational decision-making, a plaque listing ministers who have been invited to serve the congregation = All persons should have a vote about the things that concern them.
- Flyers/photos related to a social justice event, collection bins for donated goods = We believe in working for a peaceful, fair, and free world.
Including All Participants
Plan a tour that is accessible to all participants. Include a child with limited vision by describing spaces or items they cannot see.