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

Activity 3: Recalling our Experiences of Nature

Part of Spirit of Life

Activity time: 60 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Paper for drawing or writing
  • Drawing and writing implements, such as pencils, color pencils, markers, crayons
  • Bell
  • Clock, watch, or timer that shows seconds
  • Optional: Cordless microphone

Description of Activity

Invite participants to sit comfortably. Introduce a time of quiet reflection with these or similar words:

Sometimes we witness something like a lightning strike or some other event in nature that stays with us long after the moment has passed. In the quiet that follows, I invite you to recall significant experiences have you had in relation to the natural world. Choose one of these experiences for further reflection and sharing. Remember how you felt, and consider the influence the experience had on you.

A bell will lead you in and out of the quiet. Ring the bell. Allow five or six minutes for quiet reflection. Then, ring the bell again.

Indicate or distribute the materials for writing and/or drawing about the experience and their reflections. Encourage participants who may be shy about drawing to use their non-dominant hands; tell them that using one's non-dominant hand can reduce self-consciousness and facilitate expressiveness.

Ring the bell to begin the time for writing and drawing. After three to five minutes, ring the bell again to end the time.

Invite participants to form triads. Explain the activity:

You are invited to take turns sharing about your significant experiences of the natural world. While one of you shares, the others listen attentively. After the first speaker finishes, let there be a moment of silence between you. Then rotate roles. These are moments of precious sharing and confiding and we offer one another our mutual trust and regard. Each person will have five minutes to speak without interruption. A bell will ring when it is time to rotate speakers and listener and again to end the time of sharing.

Ring the bell at five minutes, ten minutes, and at fifteen minutes.

Re-gather the whole group for discussion with these questions:

  • What did it feel like to recall these experiences of the natural world?
  • How do you think these moments have affected your sense of spirituality or connection?
  • How do you relate your experiences of the natural world with your religious values or beliefs?
  • Our natural world is hurting so badly as environmental degradation continues. How do you think our spiritual connections with the Earth might help us work to save it?