Light the chalice and share this quote:
We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same. — Anne Frank
Watch the movie, The Visitor (PG-13, 2007, 104 minutes). A Visitor Discussion Guide, with more questions and related service projects can be found online.
- Which character in the movie is "the visitor?" Are all the characters "visiting" in some way?
- Discuss the parts of the movie that affected you the most.
- The movie deals with immigration. What immigration issues does your community have? How do you feel about those issues?
- Discuss issues of sameness and differences as they pertain to immigrants. Do immigrants coming to the United States want the same things in life that those who already live here want? Or, do they want something different?
- Invite participants to share stories of immigrants they know—perhaps their ancestors. How are these stories the same as the ones in the movies? How are they different?
- If participants are interested and knowledgeable about the country's immigration policies and the resulting issues, let them discuss it.
Point out that the youth are "visiting" the conference this weekend. Even if this is their home congregation, they will never be able to recreate this exact weekend. Sometimes visitors leave things behind. Hopefully, youth won't leave behind toothbrushes and clothing. But what are they leaving behind—what is the legacy of this weekend? In the movie, Tarek leaves behind his drums for Walter. Drumming brings Walter release and joy, and reconnects him to life. What do you hope to leave behind? Friendship? Peace? A good recipe for oatmeal cookies?
If there is a willing drummer in the group, invite them to start drumming on drums or a plastic tub or trash can, if drums are not available. Invite participants to dance to the drums and, when and if they feel so moved, to call out the legacies they hope to leave from this weekend. Alternatively, you can use a recording of drums.
If drumming is not practical, participants can stand in a circle and quietly speak their legacies into the space.
Extinguish the chalice. Sing a hymn of your choice.