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The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful. — e.e. cummings, 20th-century American poet (Unitarian)

Playing helps animals (including humans) learn and practice skills, develop social bonds, and relieve stress. Participants experience the joy of play in a session that demonstrates the well-being that results from maintaining a spiritual orientation of joy. The Faith in Action activity extends this learning by introducing the importance of animal enrichment. Participants are empowered to take action by donating toys they have made to a local animal welfare organization.


This session will:

  • Introduce the spiritual dimension and physical benefits of play
  • Foster empathy for animals particular to their playfulness and a sense of connection with all creatures in the web of life that play
  • Build community in the group through playing together
  • Empower participants as leaders in the group
  • Draw on direct observation of the natural world as one of the Sources of Unitarian Universalism
  • Reinforce the seventh Unitarian Universalist Principle, "respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part."


Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Develop awareness of how animals play, through a story about otters
  • Experience the benefits of play, first-hand, and understand connections between animal play and human play
  • Understand how play is a feature of the interconnected web of life
  • Experience leadership roles in the group.

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