Follow this Order of Service as you lead the opening of Workshop 7, Play.
Welcome participants. Explain that this workshop is devoted to the concept of play. Participants will recognize the positive impact of playful activities in significant relationships and explore how the process of play can deepen the search for meaning and spiritual development, both individually and as a couple.
Light the chalice using the following words:
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 a free and responsible search for truth and meaning.
Who says a free and responsible search for truth and meaning can't be fun? A spirit of playfulness can open new possibilities in our understanding of life, as it opens us to deeper understanding of our partners. Play can create strong connections that sustain couples through difficulties. Play can help us accept our own, our partners', and the universe's foibles. Play can freely and responsibly transform a dull day into a day of laughter, joy, meaning, and truth.
Give each participant a container of bubble solution and a bubble wand. Lead participants through the following guided meditation to center them for the rest of the workshop. Read the words slowly, pausing between phrases. Encourage participants to blow bubbles while you speak, when they are ready to do so.
I invite you into a time of silence. Try to sit with your spine straight, with your feet flat on the floor. Take a deep breath, inhale . . . and exhale, blowing bubbles as you do. Take another deep breath . . . and exhale, enjoying the process of blowing bubbles. Breathe again; this time, as you exhale, notice the form and color of the bubbles. Blow another bubble . . . watch it move . . . float. As the bubbles float away, let go of the "to dos," the "should haves" . . . just let them float out of the room, float away with the bubbles, as light as air. 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, and connect with your playful self.
Now, focus on the present . . . focus on this time you have reserved for being together as a couple. It is a gift you are giving to each other. Welcome to this place where you can enjoy being who you are, together. What does play mean to you? Think of yourself playfully interacting with your partner. What are you doing? What do you enjoy most about the experience?
[Sit in silence for two to three minutes. Participants should feel free to blow bubbles as they wish.]
Please maintain this spirit during the reading.
Read "Give Us the Spirit of the Child" by Sara Moores Campbell, 664 in Singing the Living Tradition. If you have decided to present it as a responsive reading, give hymnbooks to participants so they can join you.
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.