Tapestry of Faith: Chalice Children: A Program about Our Unitarian Universalist Community for Preschoolers

Activity 3: Circle Time

Activity time: 5 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Chalice-lighting words, written on newsprint
  • Chalice with tea light flame or other preschool chalice option
  • Feelings Chart or Feelings Flashcards by Todd Parr

Preparation for Activity

  • Post the chalice-lighting words on the wall near the Circle Time area.
  • Identify places and times that the chalice is used at your congregation. For example, many congregations display a large chalice outside, in their lobby, or at the front of the sanctuary, and most light a chalice to indicate the start of the worship service.

Description of Activity

Bring the chalice into the circle, either on the floor or on a small table or stand. Say, in these words or your own:

Welcome to Circle Time! First we light our chalice.

Point out where the words are posted on the wall. Repeat your chalice-lighting words as you “light” the chalice:

We light this chalice for the warmth of love, the light of truth, and the energy of action.

Say, in these words or your own:

Now we share our names and feelings. How are each of you feeling today? We will go around the circle and each say our name and point to how we’re feeling today on the Feelings Chart [or Feelings Flashcard]. If you would rather not share today, you may say, “No, thank you.”

Once everyone who wishes to has shared, say, in these words or your own:

For all the feelings that we feel today, we know that we have our friends, our families, and our church [congregational] family to share them with.

Introduce today’s theme, in these words or your own:

Our favorite symbol for our church [congregation] is the chalice. [Talk about how the chalice is used in your congregation.] Our group is called Chalice Children, because the chalice is important to us as Unitarian Universalists. Chalice Children come to make new friends and see old friends. All kinds of people can be friends, even if they are different from one another. Today we are going to make a chalice out of flannel-and we will discover a smile in the chalice! But before we make the flannel chalice, let’s read a story together about all kinds of friends.

Including All Participants

If any child has mobility problems, you could hold your circle activities in a circle of chairs to make it easier to include a wheelchair or for a child to sit while wearing leg braces.