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

Activity 2: Creating Blessings

Part of Spirit of Life

Activity time: 25 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Bell
  • Clock, watch, or timer that shows seconds
  • Leader Resource 1, Creating Blessings
  • Writing paper and pens or pencils

Preparation for Activity

  • Participants work in five small groups to create blessings to share with the entire group. If the group includes fewer than ten participants or more than thirty, decide how you will adapt this activity so everyone works with at least one other person, and no group is larger than six.
  • Review and print out two copies of Leader Resource 1. Keep one copy intact for your own use during the activity. Cut the other on the lines to make five slips with instructions for small groups.

Description of Activity

Introduce this activity with these or similar words:

Just as the Rev. Jurgen Schwing worked with his team to create a blessing of the hands, we are going to work in small groups to create blessings. Rather than bless each of us individually, we will bless ourselves together, as a group.

We'll create a blessing of our hands, a blessing of our minds, a blessing of our hearts, a blessing of our spirits, and a blessing of our community. We'll create and conduct these blessings to support ourselves as a community in responding with our care to the ways that the hurts of the world affects each of us.

In your groups, use a combination of words, movements, and gestures to create the blessing you're assigned. When we share with our whole group the blessing each group has created, we will present in this order: blessing our minds, hearts, hands, spirits, and community.

Invite participants to count off to form five groups. If you prefer, invite participants to choose their own small groups, being careful to keep groups nearly equal in size.

Distribute the instruction slips for creating the five different blessings that you cut out from Leader Resource 1. Explain that groups will have twenty minutes to create a blessing based on their assignment. Each blessing should take no more than two minutes to conduct. Ring the bell to begin the group work. Make yourself available as a resource, answering questions and offering ideas where needed. Ring the bell again when the twenty minutes are up.

Adaptations for more than 30 participants: If you have a large group, you can create up to ten small groups. Keep in mind that later, when participants share their blessings with the entire group, each group will need at least two minutes. If you find you need to form many small groups now, be prepared to adapt Activity 3, Sharing the Blessings. You may wish to extend the time for the activity; reconvene participants into two, separate groups so that all have time to conduct their blessings; or, decide how you will select just some of the small groups to conduct their blessings.

Adaptations for fewer than ten participants: With fewer than ten participants, form two or three groups. Assign one, two, or three blessings to each group, so that participants will generate all five blessings.

Including All Participants

Encourage groups to be sensitive to variations in living situation, physical ability, gender identity, country of origin, or other aspects of life that may exist among participants, and to create blessings that include all.