Follow this Order of Service as you lead the opening of Workshop 5, Generosity.
Welcome participants. Explain that this workshop is devoted to the concept of generosity. Its activities will explore generosity as well as gratitude, scarcity, and abundance.
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 respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
Each person is an integral part of a much greater whole. Each couple is an integral part of a greater family, community, society, and nature. Generosity and gratitude demonstrate respect for this web, while nurturing the threads of interrelationship in our partnerships and beyond. Being grateful to and for each other, and for what life provides, enables a life of greater joy and integrity in this interdependent world.
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.
Welcome to this place of connections and interconnections. This is a time to focus on the present, to focus on this time you have reserved for being together as a couple. It is a gift you are giving to each other. Consider what generosity means to you. What gifts do you bring to your relationship? What more can you offer?
[Sit in silence for two to three minutes.]
Please maintain this spirit during the reading.
Read one of the following selections from Singing the Living Tradition: 479, "An Awe So Quiet" by Denise Levertov; 480, "Let Us Open Our Minds"; or 498, "In the Quietness of This Place" by Howard Thurman.
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.