Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: World of Wonder: A Program on the Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism for Grades K-1


Part of World of Wonder

Activity time: 5 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Chalice and LED/battery-operated candle
  • Cloth for altar or centering space
  • Group Covenant (Session 1)
  • Chalice-Lighting Words (Session 1)
  • Leadership Chart (Session 2)

Preparation for Activity

  • Select an area where the group can comfortably sit in a circle.
  • Create an altar or centering space for the chalice using a small table with a cloth.
  • Display the Group Covenant and the Chalice-Lighting Words. Display the Leadership Chart from Session 2.

Description of Activity

The opening circle rituals reinforce the theme of interdependence and the web of life and provide leadership opportunities for participants.

Gather participants in a circle around the chalice. Using the Leadership Chart created in Session 2, assign roles for this session. Briefly describe each job. Explain that next time you meet the jobs will change and anyone who did not get a job today will have a chance during another session. Throughout the session, prompt those with leadership tasks at the appropriate times.

Remind the group that each session starts with the ritual of lighting the chalice. In these words or your own, say:

All around the world, Unitarian Universalists of all ages light chalices when they gather together. With this ritual, Unitarian Universalists are connected to one another, even though they might never meet each other. Now we will light the chalice, the symbol of our Unitarian Universalist faith; then say together our chalice-lighting words.

As needed, help the designated leaders light the chalice and lead the chalice-lighting words:

We light our chalice to honor the web of all life.

We honor the sun and earth that bring life to us.

We honor the plants and creatures of land, water, and air that nourish us.

And we honor each other, gathered here to share the wonder of our world.

-adapted from words by Alice Anacheka-Nasemann

Point to the covenant the group created in Session 1 and briefly review it. Invite any newcomers to sign their name. You might have the Welcoming Leader or Justice Leader invite newcomers to sign the covenant, if those roles have been assigned.

Remind the children that each time we meet, we will explore something about our seventh UU Principle: respect for the interdependent web of life. In these words or your own, say:

Today we're going to talk about green energy. What do you suppose that is? What is energy? [Take responses.] Energy gives us the ability to do things such as climb a mountain, play soccer, and even think. Energy is used to do work. Energy causes movement. Every time you see something move, energy is being used. A leaf moving in the wind, a pot of boiling water, and a school bus traveling to school are all evidence of energy being used. Energy moves cars, makes machines run, heats ovens, and lights our homes. Most of the energy we use comes from burning fuels like coal, gas, or oil, which are things our earth will run out of someday. But green energy comes from sources that are cleaner and less-polluting and will last forever, like the sun, the wind, and water.

Including All Participants

At this age there is a wide span in reading ability. Point out words as you read them to the children, but do not expect them to be able to read.