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Opening (5 minutes), Workshop 4: Trees: Sanctuary for the Spirit

In "Circle of Trees," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

  • Chalice, candle, and lighter or LED/battery-operated candle
  • Newsprint, markers, and tape
  • Chalice lighting words and "Our Covenant" from the previous workshop

Preparation for Activity

  • Select an area where the group can comfortably sit in a circle.
  • Post the chalice lighting words and "Our Covenant" where all participants can see them.

Description of Activity

Gather participants in a circle around the chalice. Select someone to light the chalice. Say, in these words or your own:

Whenever we light a chalice, we are connected with Unitarian Universalists around the world who share this ritual of our faith. Our chalice lighting words are adapted from words by an anonymous writer which are sometimes attributed to Chief Seattle, a chief of the Duwamish tribe in the 19th century in the area we know today as the state of Washington. These words speak of our connection with nature and all life.

Invite the group to join you in saying the chalice lighting words you have posted:

We light this chalice for the air that is precious . . .

for all things share the same breath—

the beast, the tree, the person,

we all share the same breath.

Go around the circle and have everyone introduce themselves. Point out the covenant the group created in the last workshop and ask if anything needs to be added. Point out the group covenant and ask if anything needs to be added. Introduce the topic of today's workshop—Trees: Sanctuary for the Spirit—by saying, in these words or your own:

Today we'll explore the beauty and inspiration trees that provide as we share our special trees with one another and express our gratitude to trees, the providers of life.

Including All Participants

If there are participants with limited hearing, consider using a hand-held microphone to help with volume. If participants are sitting on the floor, make sure that there are also chairs for those who do not wish to or cannot sit on the floor.

For more information contact

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Wednesday, July 3, 2013.

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