Activity time: 5 minutes
Materials for Activity
Conundrum Corner poster/banner
Gardening tool, like a small rake or trowel
Chalice and matches
Optional: Newsprint, markers and tape
Optional: Recording of "Amazing Grace" and music player
Optional: Name tags and markers
Optional: Decorative cloth for Conundrum Corner
Preparation for Activity
Display the gardening tool in the Conundrum Corner.
Optional: If you plan to play "Amazing Grace" at Opening and/or Closing, have your recording ready to play. Feel free to take a break if you feel the routine is getting old. You can vary the practice by playing different versions of the song.
Optional: Write chalice-lighting words on newsprint, and post.
Optional: Prepare and post an agenda for the session.
Description of Activity
Greet participants as they enter. Greet any newcomers, give them name tags if others have them, and make sure they know others in the room. Direct each participant’s attention to the Conundrum Corner, but do not say anything more about it. In answer to any questions about it, say you will be talking about it later.
If you are playing "Amazing Grace," stop or lower the music.
Lead the opening ritual—a chalice lighting, a moment of focusing silence, and a moment of sharing.
Light the chalice, or invite a youth to do so, and speak these chalice-lighting words (asking the group to join you if you have posted them):
May this light help us nurture the seeds of character.
Ask the group to silently reflect on the opening words and settle in for the session. End the silence by saying "blessed be," or other appropriate words. Then say:
When we talk about our “characters” we don’t mean super heroes or fictional characters. But let’s talk about them for a minute. Who is a character you admire, and what is it about their character that appeals to you?
Invite participants to share, if they wish, “popcorn style,” or, if it works better with this group, go around in a circle, inviting each participant to share briefly or to “pass.”
Extinguish the chalice without ceremony. Set aside the chalice table, as necessary, to allow movement in the room.