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Activity time: 5 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers, and tape
  • Chalice and LED/battery-operated candle
  • Cloth for altar or centering space
  • Optional: Poster board
  • Group Covenant from Session 1
  • Newsprint or poster with Chalice-Lighting Words from Session 1

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 and a cloth.
  • Display the Group Covenant and the Chalice Lighting Words.

Description of Activity

The opening circle rituals reinforce the themes of interdependence and the web of life and provide leadership opportunities for participants.

Gather participants in a circle around the chalice. Remind the group that each session starts with the ritual of lighting the chalice. In these words or your own, say:

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.

Invite a volunteer to light the chalice and lead the chalice lighting words. As needed, assist the volunteer.

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.

- adapted from words by Alice Anacheka-Nasemann

Point to the covenant created in Session 1 and briefly review it with the group. Invite any newcomers to sign their name.

Remind the children that each time we meet, we will explore something about our seventh UU Principle: respect for the interdependent web of life. In these words or your own, say:

Today we will talk about partnership. We will discover how partnerships are important in the web of life.

Ask what the children think partnership means. Affirm that partnership is when two or more people or animals work together to get something done.

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.

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