Alternate Activity 1: UUs and Nature
Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Copies of the inSpirit: UU Book and Gift Shop, Skinner House, and Beacon Press catalogs, one for every 3-4 participants
- Optional: A computer with Internet access
Preparation for Activity
- You can request multiple copies of these catalogs by Internet or telephone: inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop and Skinner House, 800-215-9076; Beacon Press, 617-742-2110
- If you have Internet access in your workspace, visit the websites for inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop, Skinner House, and Beacon Press instead of using the catalog. This saves paper and waste.
Description of Activity
Participants discover the wealth of material available to UUs on the topic of nature.
Look through the catalogs or websites of inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop, Skinner House Books, and Beacon Press. Explain that Skinner House is an imprint of the UUA and Beacon Press is an independent publisher that is a department of the UUA. inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop carries books by Beacon, Skinner House, and other publishers. Ask participants to search for books about nature. They will find non-fiction books about the environment, meditation and poetry anthologies, and children's books about the natural world.
Consider turning this activity into a game. Award points to the individual or team for each nature reference found. The winner gets to pick the snack for the next workshop. If using the activity as a game, make sure you have catalogs evenly distributed.
After the activity, discuss the following:
- Why are many UUs interested in nature?
- What nature or environmental activities involve members of your congregation?
- Discuss nature and environmental activities that the religious education program has offered and in which the youth have participated. Flower ceremony? Planting a garden? Earth Day activities?
- Discuss the seventh Principle and how it relates to spirituality.
Including All Participants
If using the computer for this activity, also have a few catalogs available. It can be difficult for a group to view everything on a small screen and you want to keep everything accessible.