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Activity 3: River Scene — Gratitude and Generosity Rainstorm Symbols (10 minutes), Workshop 7: Gather in Thanks

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

Materials for Activity

  • River Scene mural (Workshop 1, Activity 2)
  • Leader Resource 1, Raindrop Template
  • Leader Resource 2, Cloud and Lightning Bolt Templates
  • Stiff blue, yellow, and white paper
  • Scissors, including left-handed scissors
  • Fine-tipped markers in various colors
  • Optional: Quiet music and a music player

Preparation for Activity

  • Post the group's River Scene if it is not already posted.
  • Make sure the markers will not bleed through the paper; participants will write or draw on both sides.
  • Use Leader Resource 1 to make a template of a large raindrop and Leader Resource 2 to make templates of a cloud and a lightning bolt. Trace and cut out enough raindrops, clouds and lightning bolts for all participants. Or, if you will have time, make a few templates and one sample of each symbol, and have participants trace and cut their own.
  • Set the materials, except the markers, at work tables.
  • Optional: Choose quiet, instrumental music for this activity and Activity 4, Spiritual Circle of Thanks. See Before You Start in this program's Introduction for music suggestions. Set up and test the music player.

Description of Activity

Gather participants at work tables. Indicate the sample raindrops, clouds and lightning bolts you have made. (Or, invite participants to make raindrops, clouds and lightning bolts using the materials on the tables.) Explain that you will ask participants to write an expression of gratitude on one side of a rainstorm symbol, and an offer of generous stewardship on the other.

When everyone has a cut-out symbol, invite the group to take a moment to look quietly at the River Scene. If you have brought music, begin playing it now. Invite everyone to examine the River Scene for something they are grateful for in real life—maybe rivers themselves, or animals and plants that live in or along rivers, or some way people connect with water. While participants reflect, distribute the markers.

Tell participants:

Once you know what you are grateful for, write your thanks on one side of your symbol. Then, sit back quietly and think again, this time about what you do or could do to be generous, How can you give stewardship to the Earth's water resources? Let your mind carry you along our River Scene to all the world's fresh waters and the people, animals and plants that need it. How can you be generous in taking care of water and making sure all life that needs clean water has access to it? What can you give?

If you will next lead Activity 4, Spiritual Circle of Thanks, invite participants to hold on to their symbols and gather in a circle.

Including All Participants

Participants with new or limited writing skills may wish to dictate their ideas; match them with someone who would like to write for them. You may also give participants the option to draw their ideas. Invite older participants to assist younger ones, if that seems appropriate.

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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