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

Faith In Action: A Piece of the Puzzle

Activity time: 60 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Assortment of jigsaw puzzles, from very easy to more advanced, including the family jigsaw puzzle from Session 11
  • Snacks (ask families to bring a favorite healthy snack to share with others and to label the ingredients as needed)
  • Optional: Blank puzzles and markers
  • Optional: Digital camera or smartphone

Preparation for Activity

  • In consultation with the religious educator, determine a time and location for a gathering of Chalice Children families or for the congregation at large.
  • E-mail and/or mail invitations and publicize the event in your congregation's newsletter, on its Facebook page, etc.
  • If your congregation has a group for seniors, consider extending a special invitation to them.

Description of Activity

The theme of Unit 2 of Chalice Children is "Church Is People." By this time, the Chalice Children have begun to feel a sense of belonging to the congregation and an understanding of the people and relationships that make it special. The Unit 2 Faith in Action activity can be a one-time event, such as the puzzles-and-snacks family gathering described below, perhaps held after Session 11, A Special Jigsaw Puzzle or Session 12, Family Snack Party.

Other suggestions for Faith in Action activities:

Extend the card-making activity in Session 10, Helping Others to include a visit to a retirement community, where the children can deliver the cards or pictures they've made.

The Chalice Children (and their families) could participate in one or more of the worship services described in Session 16, Special UU Services (e.g., Water Communion, Bread Communion, Flower Ceremony) by being greeters, handing out orders of service, collecting the offering, etc. If your congregation has a Bread Communion, preschoolers and their families could gather on the Saturday before the service to share bread recipes from their family heritage and bake bread together.

You can learn how to engage a service activity as a four-part process (identifying, planning, executing, and reflecting) in the Tapestry of Faith program Sing to the Power. While Sing to the Power is geared toward older children, you may find the structure helpful and adaptable for younger children.

Chalice Children families and invited guests gather to work on puzzles and share a snack.

An important but often neglected aspect of a Faith in Action project is the opportunity to reflect together on the experience. When the event is close to ending, ask everyone to help clean up and then gather briefly in a circle. Invite the children and families to share some thoughts about the gathering. Did they meet anyone new today? Did they see friends they have known for a long time? Note the importance of the relationships among the people in a congregation, using a puzzle as an analogy. Say, in these words or your own:

The individuals who come to our congregation are like separate puzzle pieces. When we come to know and help one another, we fit together like a finished puzzle that shows our congregation.

Optional: Close the gathering with one of the Chalice Children songs.

Including All Participants

Be certain that the area you select is accessible to all.