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

Taking It Home: Spirit Of Life (Canteen)

Spirit of Life, come unto me.

— Carolyn McDade

The spirit is really the bouquet of life. It is not something breathed into life, it comes out of life.

— Joseph Campbell in a conversation with Bill Moyers


Water in a water bottle symbolizes the Sprit of Life. In this session, children reflected on how the Spirit of Life works in our lives. The group heard a creation story based on the Book of Genesis in Hebrew scripture. Reflections included how pain and hurt as well as joy and wonder can bring a sense of the Spirit of Life, when one may feel connected to everything. Participants discussed how the Spirit of Life is a part of everything, just as water is pervasive.

The children learned about the Spirit of Life to demonstrate that:

  • Unitarian Universalism is a faith that will helps people connect to the Spirit of Life and be endlessly expanded by the possibilities in the world
  • Unitarian Universalism values acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations (third Principle)
  • Unitarian Universalism affirms the direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life (Source)


Think about these questions, and share your reflections with your child:

  • What does the Spirit of Life mean to you?
  • Have there been times when you felt the Spirit of Life? When?
  • How do you recognize the Spirit of Life?
  • What does the Spirit of Life feel like to you?
  • Do you have another name you might like to call the Spirit of Life?


Today, we talked about the fact that a water molecule, once formed, never ceases to exist, and might travel far and wide across time. Make up a water story together. Invite each person to imagine a form that the water took during its never-ending journey in the universe. Be imaginative. You might start by staying:

This H20 — two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom — started in the Big Bang. The hydrogen was formed by a burning star. This one bit of water was part of an icy asteroid that crashed together with others and formed planet earth. This very bit of water then became part of a brontosaurus's blood that spilled when it tripped. That bit of blood seeped into the soil. It eventually became part of a flower eaten by a woman gatherer. She passed the water in a stream of urine next to a tree. Later, this bit of water was carried in a piece of grass. The grass dried in the sun, and this water evaporated into the sky.

Invite each person in the family to add to the story. To end the story, say "As water is a never-ending part of the universe, so is the Spirit of Life."