Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: A Chorus of Faiths: A Program That Builds Interfaith Youth Leaders


Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Copies of Singing the Living Tradition, the Unitarian Universalist hymnbook
  • Chalice, candle and lighter or LED battery-operated candle
  • Slips of paper and pens/pencils
  • Taking It Home

Preparation for Activity

  • Create and print Taking It Home for all participants.

Description of Activity

Say, in your own words:

Today we have found ways to spread our good news of religious pluralism, ways to let our light shine for all to see. At the beginning of today's workshop, we sang "This Little Light of Mine." This hymn is an example of a zipper song: Each verse is mostly the same as the previous, but has room for the singers to make up and insert a new line into the structure of the song.

Distribute copies of Singing the Living Tradition and have participants look at Hymn 118 to further their understanding. Continue, in your own words:

I invite each of you to make up an eight-syllable verse about how you want to spread our light of religious pluralism. For example, you could sing, "Make new friends from different faiths, I'm gonna let it shine."

Hand out pens and slips of paper and give participants a couple of minutes to write their verses. Then lead the hymn. After the first verse, invite each participant in turn to sing their made-up line for the first measure and lead the others to join in, using the new words to complete the verse together. Remind the group that anyone is free to pass.

After all the made-up verses are sung, end with the first verse as printed in the hymnbook. Express your delight over the participants' creativity and participation. Extinguish the chalice and dismiss the group.