Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Newsprint, markers, and tape
- Markers, glitter pens, or other media for writing and decorating the covenant
- Large sheet of poster board, for Toolbox of Our Faith poster
- A separate sheet of poster board, for group covenant
- Optional: Paper strips to add items to the covenant, and pencils or pens
- Hardware store ads for cutting out pictures of tools, toolboxes, tool belts, etc. to decorate the poster
- Scissors (including left-handed scissors) and glue sticks
- Tape and/or push pins for displaying Toolbox of Our Faith poster and group covenant
- Optional: Copies of the handout, Unitarian Universalist Principles for all participants
Preparation for Activity
- Print out a copy of the handout, Unitarian Universalist Principles. If you wish, make copies for all participants.
- Identify a place in your meeting space to display the Toolbox of Our Faith poster and the group covenant (attached, or adjacent) throughout the program.
- Post newsprint where you can write on it and everyone can see it.
- If you have not created the Toolbox of Our Faith poster before the session, participants will need a little time to begin it now. You may wish to cut a large sheet of poster board into the shape of a toolbox. In large letters, label it "Toolbox of Our Faith." As time permits, have participants decorate the edges with a few pictures from hardware store ads. Be sure to leave a large area where, in future sessions, you will add visual representations of up to 16 tools and write the qualities of faith each tool represents.
- Decide how you will represent this session's tools â€” a toolbox and a ruler â€” on the poster. Be ready to add the images and write "Faith" on the poster at the end of this activity.
- Prepare another sheet of poster board for the group covenant.
- Set out the poster board, hardware store ads, scissors, and glue sticks at a work, table that can accommodate all participants.
Description of Activity
Participants will learn about making rules together, and learn the meaning of a covenant as promises we make together, as they develop a group covenant that will be attached to the Toolbox of Our Faith poster. The combined poster serves at least three purposes. It provides a visual representation of the metaphorical tools of our faith explored in each session. It keeps the group covenant before the group each time they meet, and it provides continuity throughout the program.
Using the Principles as a guideline, ask participants to brainstorm their own group covenant. Record their ideas on the newsprint you have posted.
For example, for the seventh Principle, which addresses "respect for the interdependent web," encourage participants to think about how they will respect one another and the environment around them, including the meeting room, the congregational facility, and beyond.
Help participants formulate positive statements, such as, "We will respect the furniture and belongings in our room," instead of, "Do not break things."
Participants may wish to agree together on consequences for breaking the covenant or promises that are made to each other. It's okay to allow some humorous suggestions. You might try writing them on a separate piece of newsprint for everyone to giggle about.
When the brainstorming is done, ask for reflections. Is there anything that someone wishes to change or remove or add? Ask for suggestions of how they want to decorate and write the words. Are there some calligraphers and artists who might decorate it? Could each sentence be given to a pair of children to write it out in a creative way on a strip of paper, which you will then glue onto the poster?
Present the Toolbox of Our Faith poster you have prepared, or have participants prepare it now. Be sure to add a picture to represent this session's tools, a toolbox and a ruler, and write the word "Faith" on the poster.
Post the Toolbox of Our Faith poster and the group covenant in a prominent spot.