Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Gather the Spirit: A Multigenerational Program about Stewardship

Activity 1: River Scene - Flower Ceremony

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • River Scene mural (Workshop 1, Activity 2)
  • One or two large vases
  • Tissue paper in assorted colors, chenille stems (pipe cleaners), scissors (including left-handed scissors), a stapler and tape
  • Optional: A length of string and a pencil; assorted plastic food container lids of different sizes; or, another way to draw different-size circles

Preparation for Activity

  • Practice making tissue-paper flowers so you can comfortably instruct participants.
    • One way is to cut at least three different-size circles out of different colors of tissue paper. Stack the circles, starting with the largest. Gently fold the stack in half, then in half again. Grasp the sharp folded edge and fasten the sheets together there. Then, open the edges of the circles to shape a blossom. Wrap a chenille stem (pipe cleaner) around the base of the blossom a few times, leaving some length to form the stem. You can also poke the stem through the center of the blossom or tape/staple it to the blossom.
    • Find alternate instructions on the Kids Creativity Portal website or the Kansas City Kansas Public Library website.
  • Set the materials for flower-making at work tables.
  • Post the River Scene if it is not already posted in the meeting space.

Description of Activity

This ceremony honors individual beauty as well as the greater power of the collective beauty of a bouquet.

Invite participants to make tissue paper flowers to "float" in the river on your mural. Demonstrate how to make the flowers. Invite participants to find their own ways to pinch, crumple, fluff or clip the tissue paper until the circles look like a flower to them. Tell the group:

This activity is a modified version of the Flower Ceremony many Unitarian Universalist congregations enjoy. For today, each individual flower symbolizes how each of us has a unique and needed contribution to give our communities. We will float some of our individual flowers in our river.

And, we will gather some of our flowers together in a vase. That will show how if we want to make a beautiful bouquet, we need lots of different flowers. When our community wants to solve a problem, we use many people's different mental, physical and economic gifts to make all our lives better.

Invite participants to attach individual flowers to the River Scene, so some flowers float along the river.

Gather some flowers to put in a vase. You may want to wrap one end of a chenille stem around the others and let the remainder form a stem; you may need to twist a second chenille stem to make the flower stem tall enough.

Once the bouquet is full and the River Scene has flowers floating on it, gather the group to reflect on their creations. Say something like:

We have made a bouquet of flowers in this vase and added flowers that float on the river. How would this look if only one flower was in this vase and only one flower floated? How does having a group of flowers add to the river and the vase?

Tell the group they will now hear a story that illustrates how partners working together solved a complicated, serious water problem that neither partner could have solved alone.