Materials for Activity
- Optional: Copies of Singing the Living Tradition, the Unitarian Universalist hymnbook or copies of Handout 2, Lyrics - Chant for the Seasons
Preparation for Activity
- Research possible clean-up opportunities to present to the group.
- Optional: Make this activity multigenerational. Consider inviting entire families of participants to join.
Description of Activity
What better way to honor our connection to Mother Earth than by keeping her healthy? Plan, as a group, to participate in a local clean-up effort. Many communities have annual clean-ups of lakes, rivers, or parklands. Some communities sponsor school clean-ups, which include the school grounds. If you are not aware of any of these, consult congregants, especially people involved in the Social Justice Committee or "green" organizations. Sierra Club members may have ideas. If someone in your congregation belongs to a group or business that sponsors a portion of a nearby highway, ask if the youth can participate in their next clean-up effort.
To bring a greater spiritual focus to this activity, ask a Pagan member of your congregation (or another Pagan group, if you cannot find a congregational volunteer) to start the clean-up off by blessing the group's efforts. During the clean-up, sing Hymn 73 in Singing the Living Tradition, "Chant for the Seasons," if the group has learned it.
After the clean-up, gather together and discuss the experience:
- Have you ever participated in a clean-up before? Did the blessing and the intention behind this clean-up change the experience for you? How so?
- What other ways can you practice greater respect and caring for the earth?
- What can you do to deepen your feeling of connection to the earth?
Including All Participants
Make sure the clean-up site you choose is accessible to all the youth as well as other congregational members who may accompany the group.