Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Chalice, candle, and matches or LED/battery-operated candle
- Newsprint, markers, and tape
- Hand ornaments cut from card stock (see Welcoming and Entering)
- Pens, pencils, or markers
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
- If you will not do the Welcoming and Entering activity (where the early arriving participants create hand-shaped ornaments), make some in advance-one for each participant, plus a few extra.
- Set hand-shaped ornaments, and pens, pencils, and markers by the chalice.
Description of Activity
Invite a participant to light the chalice. Lead the group to read aloud the Blake covenant. Suggest participants begin thinking about what is meant by "spirit of love." Continue by saying something like:
We started our session by saying the covenant created by the Unitarian James Vila Blake. Today we will explore the idea that service is the law of our community. What might it mean to say that service is the law of our religious community? What is service? Who makes that law? Who enforces it? To start, let's consider ways we can be of service to other people.
Ask a volunteer to start. Invite them to select a hand ornament, share verbally an example of how someone might be of service, and briefly write the words or a symbol for the words on the hand ornament. Or, model this by selecting a hand ornament yourself. Allow anyone who would like to write on a hand ornament to do so, whether they choose to share verbally or not. Remind the participants that anyone who does not wish to participate may pass.
Ask participants to attach their finished hand ornaments to the group wall hanging. Show them how to tie the yarn which is looped through the ornament onto the wall hanging.
After everyone who wants to write on an ornament and attach it to the wall hanging has had a chance to do so, if your chalice contains an actual candle flame, gather around the chalice and blow it out together.
Including All Participants
Invite participants who cannot write on an ornament to share verbally while you or another participant serves as "scribe." If you know some participants may feel uncomfortable sharing in a group, let them know as they enter the room that later they will be invited to share about ways we help another person. This may help them prepare an idea before the sharing time. They can also pass.