Materials for Activity
- Pre-made puzzles - one for every two participant families
- Coloring implements
- Leader Resource 1, Family Outreach Letter and outreach materials for families in the neighborhood near the congregation
- Plain 10x13-inch envelopes
- Session 1, Leader Resource 1, Rote Teaching - Love Surrounds Us Song
Preparation for Activity
- Choose the date and time for the puzzle-coloring event and arrange to use a large, open space with work tables.
- Order pre-made puzzles, item PE1246 from S&S Worldwide. A smaller, 12-piece cardboard puzzle is item CO43.
- Customize Leader Resource 1, Family Outreach Letter and copy to distribute with puzzles to neighborhood families.
- Gather outreach materials to provide with the letter. You might include pamphlets about Unitarian Universalism, the congregation, worship services, the RE program; flyers about upcoming events; and handouts that include the congregation's address, worship service times, and website.
- Place coloring implements, outreach materials, envelopes, and pre-made puzzles on work tables.
- Print out Session 1, Leader Resource 1, Rote Teaching - Love Surrounds Us Song, sung to the tune of "Jesus Loves Me, This I Know." Familiarize yourself with the teaching method described on the leader resource.
Description of Activity
This activity connects congregational families to families in the community with whom they may not usually interact. This is an opportunity to engage congregational members in spreading the word about Unitarian Universalism. Talk about the ways our faith affirms all families.
When participants are gathered, ask that each family hold hands to form a line. Begin singing "Love Surrounds Me." Children will know the song and others will catch on quickly. Start with one linked family. Make a snake through the room as you sing. Ask the other families to catch the end person's hand and join the snake until all families are connected. Circle the room again and sing the entire song.
Stop and release hands. Ask participants to sit at tables in groups of two families. Say, in your own words:
Families are the center of our beloved communities. Today we are going to make puzzles of our families. Then we will take the puzzles apart and put them in envelopes. We will give them to families we haven't met yet. We will include information about our faith community and invite them to visit.
Invite each small group to choose a theme for their blank puzzle. It has 12 pieces in the middle that are 4 inches square and other pieces that form a border. Take the middle 12 pieces out and have each person color one piece. If any pieces are left, some people can color several. If there aren't enough pieces, two people can color together.
Tell the group:
When you have completely colored all the middle pieces, put them in the envelope. Now you should have just the border pieces. You might write an invitation to the next multigenerational event at our congregation. You may want to color a decorative border. Work together as families to design a special border and color the puzzle. As a piece is finished, put it in the envelope. When you are finished with all your pieces, take them out and put your puzzle together.
After families have completed and tested their puzzles, invite them to return all the puzzle pieces to the envelope and add the outreach information you have gathered about Unitarian Universalism and your congregation.
Give each family a copy of the outreach letter (Leader Resource 1) and ask them to sign their first names at the bottom. Some families may want to go now and take the envelope to people in the neighborhood. Another possibility is for one family to make all the deliveries.
Process with these questions:
- I wonder how the person will feel when they open the envelope?
- Will they know to put the puzzle together right away?
- Do you think they will want to meet the family who made the puzzle?
Invite participants to sing "Love Surrounds Me."