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Opening (5 minutes), Workshop 4: The Call for Empathy

In "Heeding the Call," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

  • Chalice and matches or LED candle
  • Words for chalice lighting

Preparation for Activity

  • Write the chalice lighting words on newsprint and post.

Description of Activity

Gather youth in a circle. Welcome first-time participants. If there are new people present, invite everyone to say their name. Ask if anyone would like to share anything noted in their Justicemakers Guide since the last meeting. Light the chalice, or invite a participant to do so, and recruit a volunteer to read the chalice lighting words:

Lighting this small flame is an act of hope, an act connected to thousands of other small flames burning in many times and places. Lighting this chalice connects us, past and present, here and there. As we feel the glow within us, we recognize the glowing life spirit in others.

Tell the group that today's theme is empathy. Acknowledge that the words "empathy," "sympathy," and "compassion" are similar. Ask how they are different. (Dictionary.com defines empathy as "the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another." Sympathy is defined as "a general kinship with another's feelings." "Compassion is defined as "a deep sympathy with the feelings of another coupled with a powerful urge to alleviate the cause of suffering.")

Ask for volunteers to share what they think empathy has to do with justice.

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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