- Chalice or LED/battery-operated candle
- Research a community you would like to serve and contact the people who can represent that community's needs. Using their input, plan components of the service project and obtain any materials the small group will need to prepare.
Use your established opening ritual. Or, light the chalice and share this quote:
Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others. — Plato
Discuss the service project. Explain its parameters. Tell participants that after planning the project you will use a few questions to explore the project on a more personal level. Then, the group will break into smaller groups to work on specific tasks to complete the project.
Make sure everyone knows when and where the project will happen and that immediately after the project the group will meet back at the church to process the experience (Session B). Participants are expected to take part in the entire experience to achieve the full benefit.
- Why did you decide to participate in this project?
- What gifts do you bring to this project?
- What is attractive to you about the specific task you chose?
- What might this project mean to the recipients?
Break into small groups according to the activities participants choose. The activities can vary according to decisions made earlier or they might be designed to use the gifts people identified. One group can bake cookies or make other edible treats. A group of musicians can practice carols. Another group can make single-sided cards for nursing home residents to display on their doors. If the group has time for a more elaborate project, you might perform a holiday story such as "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." Keep the story along secular lines unless you know all the nursing home residents belong to the same religious community.
Invite participants to share their feelings about the upcoming visit.
Use your established closing ritual. Or, extinguish the chalice and say, "Let us go spread peace and love."