Activity 1: UU Worship
Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Crayons or washable markers
- Optional: Newsprint, markers, and tape
Preparation for Activity
- Tape sheets of newsprint to work tables, a hard floor, or low on walls where all the children will be able to reach them for drawing.
Description of Activity
Children explore why UUs worship together.
Ask: "What sorts of things do you do with groups like your families, your classmates, your scout group, or your friends?" Allow them to call out response. Then, gather children around newsprint, distribute crayons or markers, and invite them to draw one or more of the group activities they have mentioned.
While they draw, ask the children to describe their drawings. Who is in the group? What is the activity? Ask about activities they do in a group with the UU congregation. Point out the activities they are talking about or drawing which happen at times in your congregation.
Then ask: "Who can think of a unique activity we do as a group in our congregation, which we might only do with this group? What is an activity that happens here, for which we gather together?" Take suggestions. Tell them you are thinking about "worship." Use reference points they recognize to describe a worship gathering in your congregation. Now ask: "Why do you think Unitarian Universalists worship together?" Affirm all answers.
Say, in these words or your own:
In UU congregations all over the world, thousands of people come together for worship. Many groups worship together on Sunday morning. Some worship Saturday night. Some worship at other times.
Some congregations worship in a building they call a church. Some do not use the word "church" and instead call the place they gather a "meeting house," a "fellowship hall," or just say things like "I'm going to worship." Sometimes UUs worship outside.
Sometimes a minister leads UU worship services. But a worship leader can also be a religious educator like [name of your religious educator], a music director [name of your music director], or a lay leader-someone who is a volunteer.
What all UU worship has in common is why we come together. Worship is a time for us to share with others what we find worthy. Creating time for our thoughts, discussions, and celebrations of what we find truly important that helps us lead lives that reflect our values, lives full of meaning and purpose. It is fine to worship by yourself, but UUs also like to worship as a community. Worship is a time for giving and receiving and we show this with worship rituals that are signs of our faith. We might say some words together as a pledge to be a loving, supportive community. We might sing a song that inspires us to work for justice in the world. We might hear a sermon-words from the worship leader or minister-about one of our UU ancestors, or about how we can help some of the world's problems. Someone might tell a story from the Hebrew or Christian scriptures or a story of their own, such as during a time of Sharing Joys and Concerns. During worship, a basket is passed to collect money to contribute to the congregation because we find the work of the congregation worthy. Worship is full of rituals that are signs of our faith.