Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Spirit of Life: An Adult Program on Unitarian Universalist Spirituality

Activity 5: Words of Wonder and Reverence

Part of Spirit of Life

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Review and make copies of Handout 3.

Description of Activity

Share with participants:

As Unitarian Universalists, we have many ways of naming those things in life that inspire wonder, awe, and reverence. Whether or not we believe that there is divinity at work in our universe, we experience moments of what our Unitarian Universalist Principles name as "transcending mystery and wonder" and "an openness to the forces that create and uphold life."

Distribute Handout 3. Explain that this handout features some, but not all, of the words that describe an object of wonder and reverence in the hymns included in Singing the Living Tradition. Point out the variety among these words; the phrases speak to Unitarian Universalists in all our theological diversity.

Ask participants to spend a few minutes individually reading the list in Handout 3 and to circle at least three personally meaningful phrases-words that remind them of wonder or the Spirit of Life. Invite participants to write down their own phrases or words if none of the phrases speaks to them or if the list seems incomplete. Explain that they will use the words in activities that follow.

Including All Participants

To adapt this activity for people with vision limitations, form small groups and ask a volunteer in each small group to read up to 20 of the phrases aloud. Invite others in the group to respond by verbally indicating which words speak to them about the sacred, while another volunteer jots down tally marks on his/her handout to record the number of responses earned by each word or phrase. Invite each small group to tally up the responses to identify the phrases with the most positive responses. Reconvene the entire group and compare findings.

For participants with low vision, handouts can be printed with large font, or emailed to participants to use their own reader.