Tapestry of Faith: Toolbox of Faith: A Program That Helps Children Discover the Uses of Faith


Activity time: 5 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Chalice and candle or LED/battery-operated candle
  • Lighter and extinguisher, if needed
  • Newsprint, markers, and tape
  • Tool of the Day - a glove, or pair of gloves

Preparation for Activity

  • Print the opening words on newsprint. Post the newsprint where the children will be able to see it when they gather in your Council Circle space.

Description of Activity

As participants explore the purposes gloves can serve, they will become familiar with a glove as a metaphor for love and compassion in our faith. They will learn about the universality of compassion.

Invite the children to gather in a circle, in your Council Circle space. Light the chalice.

Indicate where the opening words are posted for any children who are unfamiliar with them. Lead the group in reciting:

We are Unitarian Universalists

with minds that think,

hearts that love,

and hands that are ready to serve.

Hold up a glove, or a pair of gloves. Tell the children gloves are the Tool of the Day. Pass the glove(s) around the circle. Invite participants to share their prior experiences with gloves, including different kinds of gloves they have different purposes.

You might ask, "What do you think makes this a Unitarian Universalist tool?" Allow participants to share ideas. Affirm that there is no one answer. Say, in your own words:

Gloves can represent the tool of love in our Toolbox of Faith. Even the word, "glove" has the word "love" embedded in it! Unitarian Universalism is a faith that values justice, compassion, and equity in human relations. We recognize many different ways to express love, just like there are many different types of gloves. There are warm woolen gloves, rubber gardening gloves, canvas work gloves and softball gloves.

The sources of our Unitarian Universalist faith include Jewish and Christian teachings, as well as teachings of other religions. Does it surprise you to know that all major religions call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves? The Golden Rule of Christian teaching, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," is found in some form in all major religions.

You may also share with the group this excerpt from a Parabola magazine (Fall, 2006) interview with Karen Armstrong about her book, The Great Transformation. Tell them that Karen Armstrong is an author who writes about world religions:

When the major religions were being founded, each spiritual genius (Jesus, Confucius, Mohammed, and Buddha, among others) discovered on their own a beautiful base note of compassion... the last word, the ultimate religious act... [They] worked as hard at finding a cure fore the spiritual ills of society as we are working to find a cure for cancer. This is the conclusion they came to. Not because it sounded nice but because they found it worked. Buddha always said, "Test my teaching against your experience." They found that if you did live in this way [compassionately] you experience an enhancement of being. The Chinese Confucians spoke of human heartedness, of becoming more humane."

Collect the gloves. Extinguish the chalice.

Invite children to return to the worktable where, before the session began, some will have begun making cut-out paper "gloves." Allow time for each child to make and decorate a glove.

Now or later in the session, glue or tape one or more of the gloves decorated by the children to the Toolbox of Our Faith poster to represent today's quality of faith. Write the word, "Love," on the poster.