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Taking It Home, Workshop 1: Gather the Spirit

In "Gather the Spirit," a Tapestry of Faith program

There's a river of my people and its flow is swift and strong. — Pete Seeger, Unitarian Universalist folk singer and activist

IN TODAY'S WORKSHOP... We talked about stewardship and water. We saw that when people gather in community, they are strong. We heard a Navajo creation myth about Snail Girl finding fresh water. We made rainstorm sounds, built a River Scene and imagined being a drop of water traveling through the water cycle. We talked about how, for Unitarian Universalists, social action and stewardship can be expressions of faith.

EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about... What kind of stewardship do we offer in our family? In other words, how do we care for each other and by doing so, express our responsibility for the family? What kind of stewardship does our family do for others?

Why do we gather in the community of our congregation? What other communities are we in?

What Unitarian Universalists mean when we say "service is our prayer"?

Where do we have fun with water? What are some of our favorite water places?

EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try... 

Family Construction Fun. Make a rain stick. If you do, bring it in to show the Gather the Spirit group. The basic idea is simple: Use a heavy cardboard tube. Poke many nails or other sharp sticks so they extend into the center of the tube (and tape them on the outside of the tube so they do not fall out). Seal one end of the tube. Pour in beans, sunflower seeds or other small, hard objects. Seal the other end. Decorate the tube as you wish. Turn the rain stick over and over, and listen to the rain inside. For detailed instructions, search the Internet for "making rain sticks." One source is the Kinderart website.

FAMILY MINNOW STORY

Writing a group minnow story is an optional activity suggested for the workshop. If you don't do it with your group, do it at home. Make up a story showing how "the minnow effect" works. That's sort of like "the butterfly effect"—the idea that a butterfly flapping its wings on one continent can affect the weather as far away as another continent. What about a minnow swishing its tail? Might that move the water, so another fish comes close to eat the minnow, but the minnow gets away and moves the water more, and an even larger fish comes after the first fish... and, then what?

A FAMILY RITUAL

Make your own water-based chalice. Use a special bowl. Fill it with water and float a tea candle in it. Or try a special floating candle you can find at specialty candle stores.

Meditate by sitting quietly together around the chalice, watching the flame and remembering a special watery place.

FAMILY SCAVENGER HUNT

Find a way to conserve water at home. Figure out how much water you can save if you put a brick in the tank of your toilet. Use the Internet to find more ideas. Try the websites of Eartheasy, Green Venture, Monolake or the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Post your idea and your water savings results on the Gather the Spirit blog or tell the group about it at the next meeting.

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 Saturday, December 10, 2011.

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