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Opening (5 minutes), Session 1: The Web of Life

In "World of Wonder," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers, and tape
  • Chalice and LED/battery-operated candle
  • Cloth for altar or centering space
  • Optional: Poster board

Preparation for Activity

  • Select an area where the group can comfortably sit in a circle.
  • Create an altar or centering space for the chalice using a small table with and a cloth.
  • Write the chalice lighting words on newsprint and post in the gathering space. Optional: Use poster board to make a more durable poster of the chalice-lighting words and display it in the gathering space for the duration of the program.

Description of Activity

This activity introduces opening circle rituals and the themes of interdependence and the web of life.

Gather participants in a circle around the chalice. Explain that each session starts with a ritual. Ask if anyone knows what a ritual is. You may say:

A ritual is something you do again and again, often at the same time of day. If you have a routine for going to bed, that is a kind of ritual. All around the world, Unitarian Universalists of all ages light chalices when they gather together. With this ritual, Unitarian Universalists are connected to one another, even though they might never meet each other.

Now we will light the chalice, the symbol of our Unitarian Universalist faith; then say together our chalice lighting words.

Point to the chalice lighting words you have posted, which are adapted from words by Rev. Alice Anacheka-Nasemann. Have children repeat each line after you:

We light our chalice to honor the web of all life.

We honor the sun and earth that bring life to us.

We honor the plants and creatures of land, water, and air that nourish us.

And we honor each other, gathered here to share the wonder of our world.

Now say:

Each time we meet for World of Wonder, we will find out more about our seventh UU Principle: respect for the interdependent web of life.

Ask whether anyone knows what interdependence means. Say:

Interdependence means we all depend on each other and on the earth to be able to live. If we depend on each other, we need each other. We are connected to each other, as if we live on an invisible web that includes all of nature—people, animals, and plants.

Including All Participants

Children this age differ widely in reading ability. Point out words as you read them aloud, but do not expect children to be able to read.

For more information contact web@uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Friday, May 17, 2013.

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