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LEADER RESOURCE 2: Creating the Closing Worship

The closing worship circle brings the group back together to enrich each other's understanding of the story and of their own life experience. This is not a show-and-tell experience, but rather a participatory, co-created worship experience. Do just enough planning to provide a container for participants to share with one another and grow in spirit. You cannot script a co-created worship service, but you can guide it so that all participants feel heard and valued, and all hear and value the voices and experiences of others, regardless of age or life stage. With practice, you and the participants will become adept at co-creating worship to end each workshop.

Here are suggested elements for the closing worship for Workshop 1, David and Goliath. Add, subtract, and adapt to fit your situation:

Opening words

Use the Theodore Parker quote that begins this workshop.

Chalice lighting

Use chalice lighting words familiar to your congregation or use Reading 452 from Singing the Living Tradition.

What was it like to be David? Slingshots and King's Armor

If you had a group using Alternate Activity 1, Pretending to be David, invite participants to demonstrate their re-enactment with the group. Invite them to tell the large group what it feels like to be David.

What are we afraid of today? Confronting Bullies Drama

Invite the group that created a modern version of David and Goliath (Activity 6) to share their thoughts about bullies today and why they make us afraid. Invite them to re-enact a piece of their dramatic rendering of the story.

What gave David courage? What gives us courage?

Invite members of the discussion group (Activity 5) to explain what they think gave David courage. Invite them to share what gives them courage today to fight against injustice or to stand up for themselves.

What gives us courage? Five Smooth Stones

Invite the group that meditated on what they would want to bring into the valley to meet a Goliath today to share some of their thoughts and show their stones. Since some of the painted stones might still be somewhat wet, invite participants to place them on the worship table.

Meditation/prayer

Begin a meditation or prayer as you normally would in your congregation. Then say, "Here are some fears we want to acknowledge" and invite participants to speak their fears aloud. Then say, "Here are some ways in which we pray for/need courage," and invite participants to speak if they choose. Then say, "Here are the things we are bringing into the valley with us when we face our fears like David faced Goliath," and invite people to speak. End your prayer by saying, "Help us to/may we remember that we are not alone when we, like David, face injustice, or face a bully. End the meditation or prayer as you normally would in your congregation.

Music

Choose some music about courage. You might choose a recorded piece to play, such as "You'll never walk alone" from the musical Carousel or explain and teach a song such as Hymn 172 in Singing the Living Tradition, "Siph Amandla." If you do use Hymn 172, explain that it came from people who were facing a terribly unjust government in South Africa and used the music to give them courage.

Closing words

Use words familiar to your congregation.

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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