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Services: “We Have a Dream

Also appropriate as Other Rituals

Overview: Lead people in a reflection of where they are, or where they have just been. Then turn personal dreams into community dreams.

Theme or Background: To look at our dreams for the future, and make those dreams collective dreams, Based on the most famous line Dr. Martin Luther King's most famous speech.

Materials Involved: Chalice/Altar

Details: Set up a chalice or altar in a sacred space before people get there, They can come into the space on their own, or have them gather somewhere and lead them to the space while singing. The song should be slow and reflective. ("Enter, Rejoice, and Come In" would be a TERRIBLE choice)

If this is the last night of a Con, you can invite people to share what the con has meant to them, or what place they were in before they came to the con, and how that has changed.

Give a talk about The Now, or find a reading about it, and ask people to share as they'd like what feelings they are having now, what place they are in in their life. Try not to let this turn in to check in, But it should be a time when people try to characterize or capture the place that they are in emotionally. Leading with a good example will help.

When the sharing seems to be over, Lead people in a song. If it is possible, lead them to a different room while singing, To signify a change in direction. But if not a song will be fine.

Once ready for the second part, talk about the future and dreams. How things never stay stagnant. And that we are a Community and have shared dreams.

This section can be very powerful, but you must be clear about what is going to happen. Tell people that as they want to, they should share a dream about the future that they have, starting with the phrase "I have a dream..." These can be personal, global, or local. And after they have said their dream, everyone will say together "We have a Dream." This is to make the dream a communal dream, to acknowledge the person and their dream.

You should probably begin with a dream of your own to serve as an example. Here's how it would go:

"I have a dream that the UU young adult movement will continue to grow stronger."  Together: "We have a Dream."

Before the sharing loses momentum, ask if anyone else has a dream to share, when no one else does, Lead the song "We are rising up" (author unknown) to end, you can let the circle move in a direction starting slowly.

This song works really well if you start of slowly and build faster and faster.

We are rising up
Like a phoenix from the fire
so brothers and sisters
spread your wings and fly higher

We are rising up
we are rising up

(repeat and can be done in a round)

Copyright: The author has given Unitarian Universalist Association member congregations permission to reprint this piece for use in public worship. Any reprints must acknowledge the name of the author.

For more information contact web@uua.org.

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Last updated on Monday, March 18, 2013.

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