Activity 4: Worship Planning Stations
Activity time: 20 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Chalice, candle and lighter or LED battery-operated candle
- Newsprint, markers, and tape
- Copies of Singing the Living Tradition and Singing the Journey
- Arts and crafts materials
- A poster or handout of the seven Principles
- Optional: Recorded music, and a music player
- Optional: A Child's Book of Blessings and Prayers (Skinner House, 2008), Sunday and Every Day: My Little Book of Unitarian Universalism (Skinner House, 2010), Come Sing a Song With Me: A Songbook for All Ages (Skinner House, 2008), and/or Now Let Us Sing (Kingston Unitarian Press, 2004), a collection of UU hymns categorized by Principle
Preparation for Activity
- Five stations are suggested. If the group is small, create fewer stations.
- Invite several adults or older youth to assist children at the stations.
- Choose one of the UU Principles as a focus for the mini-worship-or decide to let each team of children choose a Principle as the focus of their component.
- Set up the stations.
- Gathering: An index card reading "Instructions: Lead the community to sing a hymn about one the seven Principles. One suggestion is Hymn 188, "Come, Come Whoever You Are," but another hymn is fine. Rehearse. This component may last two minutes or less. Copies of Now Let Us Sing, Come Sing a Song with Me, and Singing the Living Tradition; place a bookmark at Hymn 188, "Come, Come, Whoever You Are" in Singing the Living Tradition; children learned this hymn in Session 10.
- Opening/Closing: An index card that reads "Instructions: Find or write one short reading for opening the worship and another short reading for closing the worship. Readings should reflect one of the seven Principles. Assign someone to light the chalice, someone to lead the opening reading, someone to extinguish the chalice, and someone to lead the closing reading. Rehearse. Each component may last one minutes or less." Copies of Singing the Living Tradition. Newsprint sheets with the Opening and Closing words used in this session. Writing paper and pencils. Blank newsprint, markers, and tape. Optional: If the group created an Opening and/or a Closing in Session 9, give this group the materials to lead these components.
- Centering: An index card that reads "Find or write a prayer or meditation that reflects one of the seven Principles. Assign one or more team members to read the prayer or meditation aloud and then ask for a minute of silence. Rehearse. This component may last three minutes or less. "From Session 4: Handout 1, Prayers and Meditations; any meditations used in Alternate Activity 2, Creating a Meditation or the Faith in Action activity, Collecting Prayers and Meditations. Copies of Singing the Living Tradition and (optional) other sources of prayers or meditations for children. Writing paper and pencils.
- Receiving: An index card that reads "Present one of the seven UU Principles in any way you choose. You could share visual art, dance, music, or acting. You could include statements about why the Principle is important or how they may be used. Rehearse. This component may take five minutes or less." From Session 3: Handout 1, UU Principles for Children (or another version of the Principles for children). Assorted art material. Newsprint, markers, and tape.
- Acknowledging: An index card that reads "Pick a reading that reflects one or more of the seven Principles. Copy the words on a sheet of newsprint. Prepare to post the newsprint and lead the group in reading together. Rehearse. This component may take two minutes or less." Copies of Singing the Living Tradition, bookmarked from Reading 457 to Reading 473 (and other books with material appropriate for this age). Newsprint, markers, and tape.
Description of Activity
Children craft a worship service under 15 minutes long based on one of the UU Principles.
Invite the group to create a short worship service about the seven Principles. Say that a team of children is needed at each station to create a specific part or component of a worship service. Introduce the volunteers who will help the teams, and indicate the stations:
Form teams. The teams should be fairly equal in size, except for "Receiving" which can have a larger group.
Explain that each team will find instructions on an index card at their station, along with materials for planning their component of the worship service. Tell them the teams will have 15 minutes to plan and practice leading their component.
Assist teams as they work. Remind them to write down any words not in hymnbooks or handouts so they will remember them when it is their turn to lead a component of the worship service. Make sure all roles are assigned and that all every child has a role in planning or leading. Help teams listen to each member of their group, reach consensus, gather needed materials, and rehearse.
Including All Participants
Be prepared to help children explore written materials and implement their ideas for art or performance.
A Child's Book of Blessings and Prayers
Eliza Blanchard, Rocco Baviera
From Skinner House Books
Simple graces, prayers and blessings from around the world.