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
Preparation for Activity
- Prepare to lead the Opening described below: Set a chalice table with a cloth, a chalice, candle, and lighter or LED battery-operated candle. Write the Opening words on newsprint, and post.
Description of Activity
Welcome all participants. Gather everyone in a circle around the chalice table. Ring the centering chime. Ask a volunteer to light the chalice, and recite together:
We gather together as Unitarian Universalists and members of the Signs of Our Faith community.
Together, we express reverence for all life by celebrating birth and new beginnings. Together, we dedicate ourselves and our community to supporting new members and their families. Together, we dedicate ourselves to making the world a better place for all life.
Ask for a definition of the word "reverence." Then affirm or explain:
Reverence means an attitude that is deeply respectful. We have reverence when we honor, respect, and cherish someone or something. Reverence goes with words like "awe," "sacred," and "holy."
Some people feel reverence for God. They sometimes show this reverence by bowing their head or kneeling in prayer. Some people feel reverence for nature. When we are asked to stand for the national anthem or to say the Pledge of Allegiance, it is to show reverence for symbols of our country. We show reverence for life my not hurting living things and by treating all living things with respect.
Tell the group that they will begin exploring ways to show signs of our faith in relationship to others. Today they will talk about the relationships they have, as Unitarian Universalists, with new life-people who are just born. They will talk about how UUs and people in other religions and communities celebrate a new baby.
Celebrating new life demonstrates our reverence for it, how much we cherish and respect life. When we celebrate new life, it is a way to show our hope for the future in which this new life will grow.