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Inspiring Guest at Your Table Activities
“A comment from a relatively new UU says it best, ‘I really enjoyed the GAYT service... Thank you for bringing this to our congregation. It made me proud to be a UU.’”
Magic Valley UU Fellowship, Twin Falls, Idaho
Guest at Your Table 2012-2013
Each year, we ask Guest at Your Table coordinators to share with us any events or activities that made their program stand out. The creativity and commitment that goes into these activities is impressive. How do you make your Guest at Your Table program special?
We hope that the partial list below will inspire you to try something new during Guest at Your Table. Share your own ideas in the comment box that follows the list and e-mail pictures to email@example.com.
Thank you for your time, support, and creativity!
- The religious education director at First Universalist Church in Denver, Colo., prepared a social-justice youth workshop, including a play she wrote based on Stories of Hope, which some of the youth performed for the other children. Then the youth wrote their own plays!
- The UU
Church of Palo Alto,
Calif., created a hope calendar, similar to an advent calendar. It listed
activities and ideas for each day from Thanksgiving through Christmas that
families could use during Guest at Your Table.
This inspired us to create our own Season of Gratitude calendar for this year's Guest at Your Table program.
- Members of the UU Society of Grafton and Upton in Grafton, Mass., reflected each week on "wondering questions" about the guests featured in Stories of Hope.
- The River Road UU Congregation in Bethesda, Md., has an annual alternative gift market and included items related to the work being done by our featured partners, including small-scale items so children can participate. For example, one option was "$5 share of materials for a groundnut sheller," which helps teach about appropriate technology used by partners in Uganda.
- As part of the conclusion of Guest at Your Table at the UU Congregation of Venice, Fla., an anonymous donor gave enough for all 19 children in the congregation to become UUSC members, and they presented it during a Children's Moment in the service.
- The fifth- through eighth-grade classes at the UU Church in Barnstable, Mass., made bean soup mix and sold bags of it at coffee hour, while helping to distribute boxes. (Note: this project is described in more detail in the 2009-2010 Religious Education Kit.)
- North Shore Unitarian in Deerfield, Ill., recognized the top two contributing families in the worship service with a small open-hands statue and featured their names in the weekly bulletin. (Note: be sure to get permission before recognizing people publicly for the amount of their donation!)
- The Kittitas Valley UU Congregation in Ellensburgh, Wash., held a Thanksgiving dinner for those with no family in the area and during the event accepted contributions toward Guest at Your Table.
- Thomas Paine UU Fellowship in Collegeville, Pa., matches the total of all gifts of $50 and under.
- Children at Mountain Light UU in Elligay, Ga., created a thankfulness art project with 100 things that members are thankful for. They unveiled it at the Guest at Your Table opening service to contrast their blessings with those who benefit from UUSC's work.
- Children at the UU Church in Springfield, Vt., started a fundraiser with a microloan: using primarily recycled and natural materials, they made door swags and centerpieces to sell at coffee hour.
- In Golden, Colo., Jefferson Unitarian Church volunteers held a youth religious education class during services, with a slide show of UUSC and Guest at Your Table with pictures and stories. Students role-played being guests and hosts.
Questions about organizing Guest at Your Table? We will be happy to help!
Share your great idea with us!
How have you made your Guest at Your Table program unique and engaging? Please share your ideas here! Also, if you have photos of your idea in action, e-mail some to firstname.lastname@example.org.