Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Recorded music and music player
- Copies of the Unitarian Universalist hymnbook Singing the Living Tradition and its supplement, Singing the Journey
Preparation for Activity
- Identify and obtain music that fits the theme of this session. The UUA Bookstore sells music CDs, including Fire of Commitment by Jason Sheldon, which includes a recording of "Standing on the Side of Love" and other hymns. If you wish to use "The Impossible Dream" from Man of La Mancha, see Find Out More.
- If you or another leader is uncomfortable leading the group in a hymn or two, consider asking a musician to join you and do that.
Description of Activity
Introduce the group to music that reflects the themes of the session.
Invite participants to explore music from a Unitarian Universalist hymnbook and/or other popular music that talks about love or small actions having big effects. Four good possibilities from Singing the Living Tradition include Hymn 84, “How Far Can Reach a Smile?” (power of kindness and love), Hymn 131, “Love Will Guide Us” (changing the world with love), Hymn 157, “Step by Step the Longest March” (force of collective action), and Hymn 346, “Come, Sing a Song with Me” (small actions spreading joy). Share these songs with youth by leading the group in song, by asking somebody else to do so, or simply by reading the texts aloud.
Four good possibilities from Singing the Journey include Hymn 1014 “Standing on the Side of Love” (power of love to promote justice), Hymn 1021, “Lean on Me” (friendship), Hymn 1023, “Building Bridges” (reaching out to others), and Hymn 1031, “Filled with Loving Kindness” (Buddhist wish to be filled with kindness).
Many recorded songs also speak of universal love and the power of individual action. Consider looking through your own library of music for appropriate selections. See also Session 8: UUs in Action, which introduces songs of social justice by Pete Seeger and others. “The Impossible Dream” from the musical Man of La Mancha, is a well-known and powerful song is a wonderful musical means to invest youth with dreams and the spirit of action.