Opening for Session 16, Love is the Golden Rule
Activity time: 7 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Chalice and LED/battery-operated candle
- Session 1, Handout 1, Ten Million Stars
- Session 1, Handout 2, Love Will Guide Us Lyrics (Hymn 131 in Singing the Living Tradition)
- Night Sky display (Session 1, Opening)
- Our UU Sources Poster (Session 1, Opening; Session 1, Leader Resource 3)
- Optional: Newsprint, markers, and tape
Preparation for Activity
- Hang the Night Sky display, if it is not already posted in the meeting space. Make sure you have the North Star and the Big Dipper.
- Post the Our UU Sources Poster, if needed. To make the poster, see Session 1, Opening and Session 1, Leader Resource 3.
- Review your Night Sky display and make sure you remember what is represented by the Big Dipper, the North Star, and the other Source Stars (and, if you have used any, each UU Source Constellation). If needed, review previous sessions. Make sure you can state each Source in child-friendly language.
- If needed, copy Session 1, Handout 1, Ten Million Stars for all participants or write the words on newsprint, and post.
- If needed, copy Session 1, Handout 2, Love Will Guide Us Lyrics for all participants or, write the lyrics on a sheet of newsprint, and post. Optional: Invite someone musical in the congregation to teach and lead the song with you.
Description of Activity
Gather the children in a circle. Distribute Handout 1, Ten Million Stars, or point out the words posted on newsprint. Light the chalice and invite the group to read the words responsively.
Indicate the Night Sky display. Say, in your own words:
In Love Will Guide Us we have learned that people used to look at the night sky and ask big questions like how life began, why we are here, and how we should live.
Invite the children to name other questions people have asked.
Ask a volunteer to point out the North Star. Remind the children, in your own words:
This one star never seems to move in the Night Sky. It always hangs above the North Pole, so travelers use it to determine direction.
Unitarian Universalists believe love is like the North Star-it can always point us in the right direction.
We've also been learning about our Unitarian Universalist Sources. Does anyone remember what Sources are?
Explain, as necessary, that a source is a beginning and when we talk about sources of our beliefs we mean great thoughts and teachings that were the beginnings of our beliefs.
Continue, in your own words:
There are six Sources. We have placed a star for each of our Sources in our night sky.
Ask the children to call out the UU Sources they remember. After a few responses, point out the UU Source Stars (and/or UU Source Constellations) and review the Sources, using this child-friendly language:
- The sense of wonder we all share (Direct experience; 1st Source)
- The women and men of long ago and today whose lives remind us to be kind and fair (Prophetic women and men; 2nd Source)
- The ethical and spiritual wisdom of the world's religions (3rd Source)
- Jewish and Christian teachings which tell us to love all others as we love ourselves (4th Source)
- The use of reason and the discoveries of science (Humanism; 5th Source)
- The harmony of nature and the sacred circle of life (Earth-centered religions, 6th Source)
Say that some people consider a 7th Source: the faithful words and actions that shape our Unitarian and Universalist heritage.
Explain, or remind the children, that a "source" has to do with origin, or beginning. When we talk about the sources of our beliefs, we are talking about where our beliefs begin and how we get ideas.
Say, in your own words:
We use the wisdom of many Sources to help us know what we believe and how we should live. We let our Sources and love guide us, like stars in the night sky guide travelers.
Distribute Handout 2, Love Will Guide Us Lyrics or indicate the lyrics you have posted. Sing "Love Will Guide Us" together.
Including All Participants
For participants who are not fluent readers, take the time to teach the opening words and the song aurally, so children can come to know them from memory.
Use an LED chalice to avoid a fire hazard and to include participants who are sensitive to smoke or scents.