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In "Gather the Spirit," a Tapestry of Faith program
Participants continue creating the River Scene, begun in Workshop 1, Activity 2.
Invite participants to add fresh water fish and animals. Say something like:
We have already made drawings that show human activities on the banks of our river. Now we are going to make fish and other animals that might live in the river or along its banks. You can choose any animals or fish you want. Don't worry about whether those animals would actually live along a nearby river. If you want to add a kangaroo, that is fine. You have about ten minutes.
Begin playing quiet music, if you have brought some.
With a few minutes remaining, invite participants to clean up and share what they have made. Then gather the group and invite all to look at the River Scene for a minute while you speak. You might say:
Imagine that you live upstream, beside the river. (Indicate which direction you mean to be "upstream".)
If you get into a rowboat or canoe, you can float along. The river will move you past all the wonderful places and people and animals along the banks. You can see fish swimming around in the water. Let's look quietly for a moment, and see if we can feel a real sense of connection, maybe a spiritual connection, with the life in and around the river. (Pause for a moment.)
Now ask yourself: Would you want to hurt any of these people and animals? You would be doing just that, if you threw trash or other bad stuff into any water that connects with this river. All around the world, people have been destroying rivers that way, over and over again. In
, many of our rivers have become polluted, and people are working very hard to clean them up.
There's a Native American saying, "The frog does not drink up the water in which it lives." That is kind of like not throwing plastic bags into a reservoir or dumping industrial chemicals into a river that holds fresh water which someday a living creature—maybe you—may need to drink.
Provide a variety of work spaces so that people with varied abilities can work easily and comfortably. If standing and attaching their work to the river scene is challenging for some, let them work with partners who can help display their creations.
Not everyone is comfortable making drawings. You can suggest some participants cut out magazine pictures to attach to the mural or enhance the river with blue paper or crepe paper. Avoid extravagant praise as well as critiques of participant contributions—affirm all who help shape the River Scene.
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Last updated on Saturday, December 10, 2011.
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