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It is not the style of clothes one wears, neither the kind of automobile one drives, nor the amount of money one has in the bank, that counts. These mean nothing. It is simply service that measures success. — George Washington Carver (1864-1943), horticulturist, chemist, and educator who started his life as a slave in the United States

The toolbox symbolizes our Unitarian Universalist faith. In this session, there are opportunities to reflect on what we might put in a toolbox of our faith and what tools our faith can provide. In addition to the toolbox, this session introduces a ruler to illustrate the rules and promises that are decided together. Discussion may include the nature of our faith as something we decide together. Allow time for participants to discuss the differences between deciding together versus being told what to do. Emphasize the meaning of "to covenant" as "to promise together." Participants will create their own group covenant.

This session introduces the Toolbox of Our Faith poster that provides continuity as a visual representation of the metaphorical tools used throughout the program. See the Introduction to the Toolbox of Faith program ("Before You Start") for suggestions on how to make and decorate this poster.

In advance of this session, you may wish to customize and distribute the leader resource, Introductory Letter to Participants and Families. The letter describes the Toolbox of Faith program and makes a request for donations of actual tools you will need for this and future sessions.


This session will:

  • Help deepen participants' Unitarian Universalist identity, ethical discernment, and understanding of Unitarian Universalist faith through reflection and discussion
  • Demonstrate that Unitarian Universalism is a faith we build together
  • Give participants experience in the Unitarian Universalist Principle of the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large
  • Affirm the Unitarian Universalist Principle that we are part of an interdependent web
  • Engage participants in the spiritual practices of chalice lighting, voicing of joys and concerns, and intentional discussion

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Link the metaphor of tools with the concept of tools of our faith
  • Learn about the tools for life that we can gain from our faith, such as courage, questioning and love
  • Learn to make rules together
  • Explore the meaning of a covenant as promises we make together
  • Experience the fun of acting out a classic folk tale that embodies the spirit of cooperation, the basis for making promises together

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