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Introduction, Session 14: The Gift Of Spirit

In "Wonderful Welcome," a Tapestry of Faith program

Life becomes religious whenever we make it so: when some new light is seen, when some deeper appreciation is felt, when some larger outlook is gained, when some nobler purpose is formed, when some task is well done.

— Sophia Lyon Fahs, Unitarian minister and religious educator

This session introduces the intangible gift of spirit, which we give and receive as members of a faith community when we worship together, celebrate together, and support and comfort one another. At its best, a Unitarian Universalist faith community nourishes all members with affirmation of their spirit and acceptance of their unique spiritual paths.

In this session, the children recognize that they each have their own spirit. They learn that when they bring their spirit into their faith community, they are sharing a gift. To many people, this communion of spirits is synonymous with the presence of God or the Spirit of Life.

In the story, A Lamp in Every Corner, people in a Transylvanian village build a church so they can come together for the purpose of sharing their spirit. When the building is complete, the individual lamps they carry to light the way to the church illuminate their gathering.

Think of the group of children as a faith community. Call attention to ways in which they share their spirit during the session. For example, Activity 3: Sharing Joys and Concerns, introduces a ritual that is common in Unitarian Universalism. You will point out that by being open in sharing their joys and supportive of others' concerns, the children give each other the gift of spirit.

Two of the alternate activities require individual photographs of each child in the group. If you plan to lead either of these activities, ask parents ahead of time to provide photos of their children, or arrange access to a digital camera and a photo printer or an instant camera and film.

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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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