Find a place where you can be quiet with your thoughts. Make yourself comfortable, lighting a candle to mark the time differently than you do for other activities. Close your eyes and breathe deeply for a few minutes, perhaps repeating one word or phrase to separate yourself from the activities of the day.
Today you will guide the group to view their UU identity as a choice. Reflect on your own choice to be UU:
- Consider the difference between saying, "I am a Unitarian Universalist," and saying, "I attend a Unitarian Universalist congregation." Which do you more readily use? Why?
- If you identify as a Unitarian Universalist, how do you remember making this choice? How might you share with the children your moments of consciously identifying as a UU?
- If you do not identify, or do not yet identify, can you articulate why? Is your hesitancy part of a process of choice, or something else? Is there anything in your non-identification as UU that may be helpful to share with the children? Give careful thought to how you might do so.
- If you attended a religious institution as a child—UU or not—recall its relevance to you at the time. What was important there? What do you still affirm?
- What are your expectations for this session? What do you hope is created at its conclusion? What difference do you hope it makes?
Consider choice from a child's perspective. Children have fewer choices than adults, and adults make most of the important choices for children who are nine, ten or eleven. Do not expect that participants will be ready, or allowed, to "choose to be UU" today. Focus on conveying that a Unitarian Universalist faith path and affiliation are not automatic inheritances, but represent a spiritual orientation and a set of values that each of us has the opportunity to affirm, not just once but dynamically in our lives.