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Litany of Teacher Dedication



Lighting the Chalice:
    Out of the infinite our children come to us, a miracle of incarnation. From time immemorial, men and women have instructed children. Once again, we acknowledge the source of life from which all things come, and to rejoice in the hope and promise of these young lives before us. Tend them with care and love. May this congregation be for them be a firm root, a circle of love, and a source of vision. Amen

    Prayer: The Chinese Philosopher Mencius wrote: The great person is one who does not lose the child's heart they were born with. This morning I offer this prayer that we may all be given the heart and spirit of children.

    Give us the child who lives within:

      The child who Trusts, The child who Imagines, The child who Sings.
        The child who receives without reservation,
          The child who gives without judgement.
            Give us a the child's eyes, that we may receive the beauty and freshness of this day like a sunrise;
              Give us a child's ears, that we may hear the music of mythical times;
                Give us a child's heart, that we may be filled with wonder and delight;
                  Give us the child's faith, that we may be cured of our cynicism;
                    Give us the spirit of a child, who is not afraid to need; who is not afraid to love.


    Reading: Our philosophy of Religious Education is based on our Principles and Purposes, as well as on the following words:

    “The great end in Religious Education is not to stamp our minds upon the young, but to stir up their own:
      Not to make them see with our eyes, but to look inquiringly with their own.
        Not to form an outward regularity, but to touch inward springs.
          Not to bind them by prejudices to our particular sect or peculiar notions;
            But to prepare them for impartial, conscientious judging of whatever subjects may be offered to their decision.
              Not to burden the memory, but to quicken and strengthen the power of thought;
                Not to impose religion upon them in the form of arbitrary rules,
                  But to awaken the conscience, the moral discernment.


    Director of Religious Education: Now, before us stand those who are willing to answer the call to the ministry of teaching. This morning we wish to thank you for your commitment to this church, to our values, and especially to our children. You have accepted the responsibility of helping our children grow and develop within our community. The enthusiasm you show toward them, this church, and our Unitarian Universalist movement will help them as they develop their own spiritual identities. We wish you to know that we acknowledge the responsibility you have accepted and respect the commitment you have made. You will receive the questioning minds of our young people, guiding them on their spiritual paths.

    Congregation: For the company of this community and other who have taught and guided us, we are grateful and offer thanks. You who have taken up the ministry of teaching, we give you our trust and pledge our support as you share your own walk of faith and understanding and teach our children the ways of love.

    Parents: We thank you for your willingness to be with our children, to teach them, to guide them, and to be with them. We remind you that you are role models for our children. How you treat them and how you interact with each other teaches them more about who we are and what we believe than any lesson. Congregation: We all have cause to be grateful to those who have taught us on our journeys.

    Children:We are grateful to you for being our guides. Thank you for being our leaders. We look forward to spending time with you, having fun with you, and learning from you. We ask that you remember that we are people, too, and that you respect us. We will do our best to be open to you and to take part in all that you bring.

    Teachers: We accept the responsibilities of being in the classrooms with our children. We promise to bring our enthusiasm, talents, and energies to helping them grow into the individuals that they will become. We ask that you support us in this endeavor. Be there when we need help. Listen to us when we need your ear. Mindful of your trust and of the responsibility for spiritual care, we take up this ministry of teaching with humility and accept your support with gratitude.

    Presentation of the Flowers: The gardens of the world are full of many flowers, each different, each beautiful, each unique. May this flower remind us all that our children are like those flowers. Each is different, each is beautiful, each is unique. They are all worth of our time and our love.

    Congregation: We acknowledge and honor the role that you have within our community. We know that this is not something you can do alone. We are all teachers and we will strive to remember that. We are all here to support and help you, each in our own way.

    All: This is the beginning of a new year. We are all part of this one community, children and adults alike. May we all grow and be enriched by our time together. We thank you for committing to this ministry . We give you our trust and pledge our support. With you we also covenant, each of us, in our life together, all to be learners and teachers.