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Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Chalice, candle, and lighter or LED/battery-operated candle
  • A chime or a small bell
  • Newsprint, markers, and tape
  • Several small items of clothing or apparel with labels indicating a non-United States country of origin
  • Copies of Singing the Living Tradition, the Unitarian Universalist hymnbook
  • Optional: Talking stick (or another item to pass to each speaker)
  • Optional: Refreshments

Preparation for Activity

  • Gather small items of clothing or apparel labeled as having originated in a country outside the United States.
  • Place chairs in a circle. Set copies of Singing the Living Tradition on chairs.
  • Set a small center table with chalice and lighter.
  • Write agenda for this workshop on newsprint, and post.
  • Write this quote from Hebrew scripture (Jeremiah 22:13) on a sheet of newsprint, and post:
    • Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice, who makes his neighbor serve him for nothing and does not give him his wages.
  • Optional: Recruit a song leader to help teach and lead “We’re Gonna Sit at the Welcome Table,” Hymn 407 in the Unitarian Universalist hymnbook, Singing the Living Tradition.
  • Optional: Set out refreshments.

Description of Activity

Welcome people into the circle. Sound the chime and invite participants into quiet reflection as you prepare to enter into a time of centering and sharing.

Ask a volunteer to light the chalice as you lead the group in singing “We’re Gonna Sit at the Welcome Table.”

Note that many of us have been long sitting at the economic welcome table, especially when we compare our financial resources with those of many others in the world. Say that this workshop will continue the exploration of how our financial ways affect others, this time expanding outward to our local communities and the world. Read aloud the quote from Jeremiah 22:13 that you have written on newsprint.


What meaning might this scripture from the sixth century BCE have for us today?

Allow a moment or two for silent reflection, then invite participants to respond to the quote as they feel comfortable, passing the talking stick if you have chosen to use one.

Share these words by Rev. Rebecca Edmiston-Lange:

Mindful of our highest aspirations,

Bound by common faith and purpose,

And, yet, beginning with ourselves as we are,

Let us take one more step, together, in our unending quest for dignity, justice and love.

Sound the chime to signal the end of the centering time.

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