Activity time: 5 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Chalice, candle, and matches or LED/battery-operated candle
- Newsprint, markers, and tape
Preparation for Activity
- Set up chalice.
- Write the words of James Vila Blake's covenant on newsprint, and post:
Love is the spirit of this church,
and service its law.
This is our great covenant:
To dwell together in peace,
To seek the truth in love,
And to help one another. - James Vila Blake
Description of Activity
Invite a participant to light the chalice. Read aloud the Blake covenant.
This welcoming ritual honors both the coming together of this community and the other communities to which the participants belong. Say:
All of us in this room belong to this community, even if it our first time here. But who we are and what we bring into the room with us includes the other communities we belong to. We will begin our time in community today with each person giving their name and then saying the name of another community they belong to. For instance, someone might say "My name is Jake and I belong to 4-H" or "My name is Reba and I belong to the Bat Rays swim team." or "My name is LaShandra and I'm a member of Ms. Chang's 4th grade class." You can think of your neighborhood, or even your family as a community.
Invite a volunteer to start, or model by going first. Proceed around the circle. Allow anyone who does not wish to participate to pass.
If your chalice contains an actual candle flame, gather around the chalice and blow it out together.
Including All Participants
If you know a child in the group is extremely uncomfortable speaking in front of the group you may wish to do the opening ritual "popcorn" style, with children self-selecting who will go next, rather than going around the circle, so that no one is put in the position of having to speak or pass.