Preparation for Activity
Extinguish the council candles. Gather participants around the chalice; if it has been extinguished, relight it.
Share with the group this excerpt from a sermon, “AT-ONE-MENT,” by Rev. Nathan C. Walker:
To be at-one is to witness how we fall down so that we may help others get up;
To be at-one is to ensure that no other human being will ever suffer like Ho Sy Hai and his family;
To be at-one is to ask the person whose life has been changed by AIDS or cancer: “How could anyone ever tell you, you were anything less than beautiful?”
To be at-one is to teach the world’s scientists, inventors, and business leaders to never profit from the death of a human being;
To be at-one is to reform this nation from a once unilateral global power into a country whose commitment to freedom is not simply a political slogan but a way of life;
To be at-one is to acknowledge that redemption comes when we use our beliefs to affirm life and to protect life;
To be at-one is to rise and sing and imagine how we are responsible for creating a wonderful world.
You may like to mention that the line, “How could anyone ever tell you, you were anything less than beautiful?” comes from Hymn 1053 in Singing the Journey.
Close with an element (meditation, benediction, song) commonly used in your congregational worship, or use one or more of the suggestions below. Base your choice(s) on the needs and energy level of your group. With your co-leaders, you may elect to use the same ritual to close every session.
A. Lead the group in singing “Meditation on Breathing,” Hymn 1009 in Singing the Journey: A Hymnbook Supplement to Singing the Living Tradition. Hear the simple tune online.
B. Have the group read in unison Reading 452 by Marjorie Montgomery in Singing the Living Tradition:
Life is a gift for which we are grateful.
We gather in community to celebrate
of this great gift.
C. Sing or say the words to “From You I Receive,” Hymn 402 in Singing the Living Tradition. Teach the group the accompanying movements.
From you I receive
Scoop the air by reaching toward other participants, then bringing air toward yourself at chest level, that is, receiving it.
To you I give
Opposite from above – scoop the air at chest level and push it outward to “give” to other participants.
Together we share
All grasp hands.
By this we live
Make fist of strength with each hand and stack one hand on top of the other at belly button level.
D. Go around the circle – using the Tool of the Day as a talking stick again, if you like –and invite each participant to say one thing they will do to seek and act for justice. A higher-energy version of the above could involve the group repeating back, chant-style, the statement of each participant, and adding, “Go out into the world and use atonement to bring reconciliation!”
E. Sing a familiar song. Suggestions: “Thula Klizeo,” Hymn 1056 in Singing the Journey; “I Know This Rose Will Open,” Hymn 396 in Singing the Living Tradition; or “Rejoice in Love,” Hymn 380 in Singing the Living Tradition.
F. Use this team spirit chant, “Pump It Up!”
Leader: Pump, pump, pump it up!
Group: Pump, pump, pump it up!
Leader: Pump that UU spirit up!
Group: Pump that UU spirit up!
Instead of “Pump it up!” you may use “Fire it up!” or “Keep it up!”
Pass the Tool of the Day around the circle and invite participants, one at a time, to voice a way they plan to use the quality of faith that was explored today. Guide them to say:
With my UU [quality of faith, e.g., atonement], I will…
Lead the group in responding to each participant’s contribution:
Group: Go, UU, go!
If you have not yet done so, invite a participant to tape the sheet of paper with “atonement” written on it to the Toolbox of Our Faith poster.
Extinguish the chalice. Distribute Taking It Home handouts. Thank and dismiss participants.