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

Alternate Activity 1: In Praise of Creation

Part of Spirit of Life

Activity time: 30 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Bell
  • Clock, watch, or timer that shows seconds
  • Leader Resource 1, Group Projects in Praise of Creation
  • Writing paper and pens or pencils
  • Newsprint, markers, and tape
  • Copies of the Unitarian Universalist hymnbook, Singing the Living Tradition for one of the small groups to use
  • Optional: Items for groups to use such as rhythm instruments (claves, wood blocks, maracas, bells, a drum, a guiro); decorative items such as streamers, ribbons, fans, or colored sheets; or natural objects such as tree branches, flowers, or pine cones. You may wish to provide flashlights, or a music player and recordings of nature sounds.

Preparation for Activity

  • Participants will self-select their assignment and work in five small groups. Decide how you will make sure everyone works with at least one other person, and no group is too large.
  • Review and print out two copies of Leader Resource 1. Keep one copy intact for your own use during the activity and cut up the second into five slips, each with an assignment for a small group.
  • On newsprint, list the groups you will form: Altar, Litany, Movement, Meditation, and Closing/Blessing. Post the newsprint.

Description of Activity

Invite participants to create a worship celebration in praise of creation. Direct participants' attention to the newsprint you have posted. Explain that participants will be invited to choose one of five groups. One group will build an altar, one will offer a litany, one will engage in body movement, one will develop a guided meditation, and one will offer a blessing as a closing. Invite participants to form five groups according to their interests. Make sure no one will be working alone, and that no group is too large to engage all of its participants.

Give each group a slip from Leader Resource 1. Explain that groups will have ten minutes to work together and create something to present to the entire group. The element each group creates should take no more than two minutes to conduct or present.

Distribute copies of Singing the Living Tradition to the group whose assignment is Movement in Praise of Creation. Distribute or indicate any other items, such as musical instruments, that you have provided for all groups to use.

Ring the bell to begin the activity. While the groups work, make yourself available as a resource. Watch the time, and ring the bell when ten minutes are up.

Re-gather the group. Remind participants of the flow of the events: Altar, Litany, Movement, Meditation, and Closing. Ask them to pay attention to flow so as to experience the celebration and to experience how their parts contribute to the whole. Invite participants to keep silence between the elements as they are conducted or performed. Invite them to get comfortable in their chairs, take some deep breaths, and prepare to receive the celebrations.

After the celebration closing, allow a silent pause. Then lead a discussion with these questions:

  • What was it like to create and participate in this celebration of creation?
  • What was it like to receive it?
  • Did you feel moved? In what ways?
  • What might you carry forward from this process?

Including All Participants

The noise created by group work may interfere with some participants' ability to hear in their small groups. You may wish to help some groups relocate to a quieter room.