Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Wonderful Welcome: A Program for Children Grades K-1

Activity 3: Sharing Joys And Concerns

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Glass bowl, partly filled with water
  • A washable marker
  • Stones or marbles for all participants
  • A small table
  • A colorful cloth

Preparation for Activity

  • Make an altar/centering table by covering a table with a colorful cloth and placing the bowl in the center.

Description of Activity

In this activity, children experience a common Unitarian Universalist ritual, the sharing of joys and concerns, as a demonstration of sharing the gift of spirit.

Gather the children around the bowl of water. Give each child a stone or marble.


When we share joys and concerns that are personal for us and when we listen to the joys and concerns of others, we are sharing the gift of spirit.

Ask a child to draw the level of water on the side of the glass bowl Say:

Watch as each person shares some spirit. You will see how much spirit we are all sharing as the water starts to rise.

Go around the circle, inviting each child to come up to the bowl, say a joy or concern, and drop their stone in the water. You may need to explain:

Joys are things we are happy about. Concerns are things we are sad or worried about.

Some children may not want to voice a joy or concern; allow them to "pass." Thank each child for sharing the gift of spirit.

Now invite the children who did not share a spoken joy or concern to simply bring their stone to the water to add their spirit. Thank each child for sharing the gift of spirit. Then add one more stone, saying, "This is for the joys and concerns still in our hearts that we did not talk about."

Now have another child draw the water level with the marker. Ask the group, "What happened when we talked about our joys and concerns, when we listened to one another, and when we put in more stones for the unspoken joys and concerns in our hearts?" Affirm the observation that the water rose in the bowl. Say:

You can see how when share the gift of spirit together, the water rises. The bowl is fuller. Look at all the spirit we shared!