Follow this Order of Service for the opening of Workshop 4, Dignity.
Welcome participants. Explain that this workshop is devoted to the concept of dignity. Participants will explore their own definitions of dignity and consider dignity in the context of the inherent rights it bestows on partners in a relationship.
Light the chalice while reading the following words or words of your own choosing:
We light this chalice as a symbol of our faith: to seek truth and honesty, to build respect, and to foster greater trust among all people, beginning with ourselves. May we dedicate our time together to these purposes.
Introduce the guiding Unitarian Universalist principle for this workshop:
We covenant to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
Relating with dignity means partners are respectful and worthy of respect. Mutual dignity creates a safe atmosphere in which choices and difficulties can be honestly discussed and resolved. In promoting each partner's free, open, and loving self-expression, a couple affirms one another's inherent worth.
Lead participants through the following guided meditation to center them for the rest of the workshop. Read the words slowly, pausing between phrases.
I invite you into a time of silence. Try to sit with your spine straight, with your feet flat on the floor. Perhaps close your eyes. Take a deep breath, inhale . . . and exhale. Take another deep breath . . . and exhale. Again; this time, as you exhale, let go of all the pressures of the day. Let go of the "to dos," the "should haves" . . . just let them float out of the room. You can return to them later. Take another deep breath. As you inhale, take in the energy of this place. As you exhale, let go of any tension or stress you might be feeling.
Come into this place where dignity is honored. Envision yourself being treated with dignity by your partner. It is a gift you are giving each other. What does it feel like? What does it look like?
[Sit in silence for two to three minutes.]
Please maintain this spirit during the reading.
Read "We Need One Another" by George E. Odell, 468 in Singing the Living Tradition. It may be read by an individual or the group.
Sit in silence for a few moments before saying:
When you are ready, please bring your focus back into this room and join our check-in.