Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Stoles, one for every participant
- Arts and crafts materials for children to initial their stoles
- Chalice patches, one for every participant
Preparation for Activity
- Obtain or make stoles, and order or make chalice patches. See the Before You Start section of the program Introduction for more information.
- Decide how the children will initial their stoles-for example, fabric paint, glitter glue, embroidery floss and needles, or cut-out felt letters and fabric glue or a glue gun (for adults to use)-and where on the stole the initials will be; you may prefer that they be visible, you may prefer the initials hidden on the inside or hem of the stoles. See suggestions in the Before You Start section of the program Introduction. You might want to practice on a fabric swatch before applying paint or glue.
- Obtain and set out materials for children to use to initial their stoles.
- Decide how to use the stoles today and in future sessions, and where to store the stoles between sessions. One decision important to this activity is when children will wear their stoles-for example, during the Opening and Closing of every session. Be ready to explain your plan to the children.
Description of Activity
Children make a commitment to be the best congregational leader they can be and receive stoles as a sign of their leadership.
Remind the children that Unitarian Universalists believe in sharing leadership. Say:
We will continue to share leadership when we are together, and you will keep learning ways to share leadership here in our UU congregation and in your everyday life. We have a stole to give each of you. It is a symbol that you are a leader.
Distribute the stoles. If someone from the congregation made the stoles, tell the group and add that person's photos to the poster you introduced in Activity 2.
Tell the group that stoles have been a symbol of religious leadership for a long time. Ask if anyone has seen others in the congregation wearing stoles. If you have examples, provide them.
Indicate the newsprint that shows qualities of a leader, and tell children that when they are wearing their stole, they should practice these qualities because the congregation will look to them for leadership. Say that you know they will take the responsibility seriously.
Let them know that people wear stoles when taking part in rituals and that is how this group will wear them, too. Tell them when, during the sessions, they will wear the stoles. Also let them know that they will wear stoles when they participate in rituals with the wider congregation. Tell the children anything they need to know about taking care of the stoles, including where they will be kept.
Today they will initial their stoles. In some future sessions, they will add decoration and, at the final meeting, they will add a chalice patch to their stoles. That patch will be a symbol of the work they have done together in the Signs of Our Faith group. Show the children a chalice patch.
Help the children apply their initials to their stoles.