Activity time: 25 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Handout 1, Litany - Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?
- Copies of Singing the Journey, supplement to Singing the Living Tradition, the Unitarian Universalist hymnbook
- Optional: Audio or video of people singing Hymn 1003, "Where Do We Come From?" and a player
Preparation for Activity
- Copy Handout 1, Litany - Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?
- Arrange for three volunteers to read aloud. Give them their assignments and a copy of Handout 1 in advance.
- Optional: Invite an accompanist or a vocalist to help you teach and lead Hymn 1003 in Singing the Journey.
- Optional: Set up equipment to play audio or video.
Description of Activity
Introduce the activity with these or similar words:
There are many ways we can connect to our Unitarian Universalist heritage. One is by hearing stories such as "W.H.G. Carter and a Step Toward Reconciliation." Another is by seeing the ways we, ourselves, take our place in the long line of Unitarian Universalists. To connect our lives to theirs, we share our stories with one another, stories that reflect experiences when we found ourselves knowing better what it is to be a Unitarian Universalist.
Invite participants to take a few moments to think about a time when knowing something about the history of Unitarian Universalism made a difference to them personally or to their congregation.
After a few moments of silence, explain that together you will create a litany, sharing stories about personal connections to our collective history and using a chant as a refrain between the stories. Tell the group you have brought some stories to share aloud, and, interspersed with these, volunteers will be invited to share brief stories of their own.
Distribute copies of Singing the Journey. Lead participants in Hymn 1003, "Where Do We Come From?" Sing together, with the help of a vocalist or accompanist if you have made those arrangements, or read the words aloud together.
Distribute the handout. Read aloud, or invite volunteers to read, each of the brief stories. After each story, sing or say the refrain in unison. As the handout prompts, after several stories have been read aloud, invite volunteers from the group to share their own stories.