Activity time: 50 minutes
Materials for Activity
- A large newsprint sheet or poster paper for creating a tree
- Color paper for creating leaves and fruit
- Paper for drawing or writing
- Drawing and writing implements, such as pencils, color pencils, markers, crayons
- Clock, watch, or timer that shows seconds
- Scissors, at least one pair (including left-handed scissors)
- Glue sticks and/or tape
- Optional: Computer, digital projector, and digital slide to display the reflection questions
- Optional: Cordless microphone
Preparation for Activity
- On the newsprint or poster paper, draw a tree trunk with many branches but no leaves.
- Cut the color paper into the shapes of leaves and fruit. Cut enough leaves and fruit to cover the branches of the tree.
- Write these questions for reflection on newsprint or download the questions to your computer and create a digital slide to display during this activity:
- What have been the fruits of your participation in these Spirit of Life workshops?
- Would you say you have learned or grown? If so, how?
- What is a spiritual gift that you see in your fellow participants?
- What is one spiritual gift you can share with our congregational community?
- What ongoing needs do you have for input, practice, and support in order to enliven your spirit and be fruitful?
- Make sure each participant will each have a seat at a table where they can write or draw.
- Place paper and drawing/writing implements where all participants can easily reach them.
Description of Activity
Invite participants into quiet individual reflection and responding to the questions that are posted or displayed. After three minutes, read aloud the questions.
Invite participants to move to table(s) where they are able to draw or write. Distribute paper and writing and drawing implements. Tell participants they will have fifteen minutes for reflection and to write and/or draw some of their responses.
Watch the time and ring the bell after fifteen minutes.
Invite participants to remain at the drawing/writing table(s) and engage them in a large group conversation, responding to these questions:
What are some of the fruits you identified? And some of the gifts?
Hear a few responses, then distribute fruits to participants. Invite participants to write with markers on the fruit, using words or short phrases to describe the fruits and gifts they identified during their time of reflection. After five minutes, ask the group:
What are some of the ongoing needs you identified?
Hear a few responses, then distribute leaves to participants. Invite them to write with markers on the leaves, using words or short phrases to describe the needs they identified during the time of reflection. Allow five minutes for writing.
Invite participants to decorate the posted tree together, adding fruits and leaves. Depending on your space, you may wish to lay the tree down on a table or post it on the wall for decorating. When the tree is decorated, ask participants to look at it together and reflect. Engage the group in conversation using these questions as a guide:
- Does this tree present a full picture of our spiritual gifts and needs?
- What else supports our ongoing spiritual exploration and growth? Is there anything you'd add to the tree?
- How can we bring these gifts and fruits to the rest of the congregation? How can we help them find and share their own gifts?
Thank participants for their thoughtful reflections and conclude. You may wish to post this tree somewhere public within the congregation-if so, ask for the group's assent.