Activity time: 5 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Chalice or LED/battery-operated candle
- Cloth for altar or centering space
- Opening Words for Basket (Session 1, Leader Resource 1), and basket
- Symbol of air, such as a feather, a pinwheel, a picture of clouds, a fan, etc.
- Newsprint with "Now Let Us Sing" lyrics (Session 1, Activity 2)
- Optional: Session 1, Leader Resource 2, "Now Let Us Sing," Hymn 368 in Singing the Living Tradition
- Optional: A copy of the Unitarian Universalist hymnbook, Singing the Living Tradition
Preparation for Activity
- Set up the chalice on the cloth to create an altar area or centering space.
- If you have not already done so, print Session 1, Leader Resource 1, Opening Words for Basket; cut out the short readings and place them in the basket. Feel free to add additional readings over the course of the program.
- Make sure you know and can lead the Sing to the Power theme song, a "zipper" song based on "Now Let Us Sing," Hymn 368 in Singing the Living Tradition. You can listen to each melodic part (Part 1 and Part 2) and the two parts sung together here. You may want to invite a guest or a volunteer to help lead the song, perhaps to lead half the group in singing one of the two melodic parts.
- Post the newsprint with "Now Let Us Sing" lyrics (from Session 1, Activity 2) adding the words "our presence here" for this session and leaving space to add new phrases in future sessions.
- Before you begin, ask the volunteer opening worship leader whether they have brought an air symbol for the centering table.
Description of Activity
The opening ritual for this program invites children to practice leadership and experience the power of a group coming together in sacred space.
Gather the children in a circle around the chalice. Invite them to take a deep breath, release it, and create a deep silence for a moment.
Invite the day's opening worship leader to select a reading from the Opening Words Basket and read it aloud (or, to read aloud the reading they prepared after the previous session).
Place the air symbol on the cloth-or invite the volunteer opening worship leader to place a symbol they have brought. Say, "I bring this symbol of air, the atmosphere which gives us life, although we never see it."
As needed, assist the worship leader to light the chalice.
Sing "Sing to the Power." Include the zipper words from previous sessions and add today's zipper words, "our presence here."
Invite participants to hold hands in a circle. Explain, in these words or your own:
Each time the group meets, we focus on ways we find and express our power. As part of each opening circle, we send a pulse of energy, or power, around the circle.
Begin the power pulse by squeezing the hand of the person to your left, who will then squeeze the hand of the person to their left, followed by each person in rapid succession. Send the power pulse around the circle several times.
Conclude the power pulse. While still holding hands, ask the group to take a deep breath together, bringing their hands up as they breathe in, and bringing their hands down as they breathe out.
Return the reading to the Opening Words Basket and extinguish the chalice.
Including All Participants
Some participants may be uncomfortable being touched. Offer the opportunity to opt out of the circle during the time when participants are holding hands for the power pulse.