Activity time: 5 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Chalice candle or LED/battery-operated candle
- Lighter and extinguisher, if needed
- Basket of name stones
- Newsprint, markers, and tape
Preparation for Activity
- Write the chalice-lighting words on newsprint, and post.
- Memorize the chalice-lighting words so you can make eye contact with participants while you say them.
- Spread the labyrinth on the floor with the chalice in the center.
- On top of the labyrinth, place the basket of stones.
Description of Activity
As children enter, invite them to retrieve their name stones from the basket and join you at the labyrinth. The labyrinth should be spread on the floor with the chalice in the center and matches or a lighter at hand if needed.
Be aware that some children may not have chosen a name stone and will need to do that now. Always have extra stones so you can offer the newcomers and any guests a chance to be part of the ritual. Being welcoming in this way models the ritual of hospitality the group will formally explore in Session 12: John Murray.
When all are seated, light the chalice and recite these opening words. Invite everyone to say with you:
We are Unitarian Universalists,
with minds that think,
hearts that love,
and hands that are ready to serve.
Direct the group's attention to your Word Wall, if you have one. Remind the children of the words you have posted on the Word Wall. Ask whether any remember what the words mean. It is not important to clarify definitions at this time.
Tell the children that one at a time, they may place their stones upon the labyrinth. Say, in your own words:
This labyrinth reminds us that we are taking a journey together. Every session is yet another portion of that journey. Each time we meet, each person will be asked to place their name stone on the labyrinth. Each stone is a symbol that we are together in this Creating Home community.
When you place your stone, please say your name and share any joys or concerns you have had since we last met. Joys are the things that make you feel happy and concerns are worries. Sharing our joys and concerns with each other is a tradition in our faith community.
Invite the children to come up, one at a time, to place their stone on the labyrinth, say their name, and voice any joys and concerns. You may need to encourage each individual until the group gets used to this opening ritual. When all have placed their name stones on the labyrinth, affirm, "It is very good to be together."
Extinguish the chalice.