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Healing a Broken World: A People So Bold DVD Discussion Guide

This segment of the A People So Bold DVD can be used in worship, as a sermon with two preachers, or in a workshop. Guidelines for usage in each are presented below.

In Worship

Materials and Preparation

  • A People So Bold DVD
  • DVD player, projector, screen, and speakers
  • Recruit someone to queue, start, and stop the DVD

25 minutes

You can design a worship service around this segment of the video. Watch the video in advance and choose hymns and readings that complement the video’s message. You can find many possibilities for openings, closings, and chalice lightings on the Unitarian Universalist Association’s (UUA’s) WorshipWeb.

Include “The Art of Blessing the Day,” a poem by Marge Piercy, as one of the service’s readings. It is referenced in Victoria Safford’s sermon. The poem appears in Piercy’s collection of poems by the same name (Knopf, 2000).

When you are leading the worship, frame the video presentation with the words of Meg Riley, or similar words:

In this presentation, Taquiena Boston and Victoria Safford reflect on the question, “How does Unitarian Universalism hold brokenness, suffering, and oppression?” Taquiena’s reflections are those of an African American woman forging a liberal religious identity throughout her life. Victoria shares the experience of a white, suburban, female, UU minister.

I hope that their reflections cause you to create your own narrative about how you understand the hardest parts of life: racism, torture, war, and all of the other destruction which is present on this planet. Only by hearing each other into speech can we learn how to move ahead.

Start showing the segment at 0:58.

In a Workshop

Materials and Preparation

  • A People So Bold DVD
  • DVD player, TV/screen, and speakers
  • Newsprint and markers
  • Writing paper and pens/pencils
  • Chalice, candle, and matches
  • Two copies of Singing the Living Tradition
  • A comforting object that can be passed from person to person as they speak, such as a smooth stone, a bean bag, or a flower

60 minutes

Welcome participants. Recruit a volunteer to light the chalice, and at least one co-reader for responsive reading 440.

Offer responsive reading 440 from Singing the Living Tradition as the volunteer kindles the flame.

Introduce this segment of the video with these or similar words:

“Healing a Broken World” consists of two Unitarian Universalists’ responses to the question, “How does Unitarian Universalism hold brokenness, suffering, and oppression?” Today, we invite you to reflect on this question as well—the video will be followed by a time for sharing.

Introduce speakers, if relevant. Biographies for Taquiena Boston and Victoria Safford can be found in Appendix A. Continue:

As you watch the video, listen for what strikes you—what touches your heart or calls to mind a memory? You can jot down notes for sharing later.

Watch the video to the end of “Healing a Broken World.”

Invite participants into a time of silent reflection on the question:

  • How do you understand the hardest parts of life: racism, torture, war, and all of the other destruction which is present on this planet? How might your faith hold this brokenness, suffering, and oppression in a life-giving way?

Encourage participants to think about what they have felt and witnessed. Offer up to ten minutes for silent reflection.

Gather participants in a circle, where they will be invited to share and listen to one another. Explain that some of us feel more comfortable telling personal stories than others, and that no one needs to share beyond what feels comfortable in this moment. Ask the group to covenant with one another about keeping personal stories confidential.

Define the circle as a “listening circle,” where the group will pass an object from speaker to speaker. Clarify that everyone has the right to pass. Share with the group the approximate amount of time they have per person.

Begin the sharing by passing the object to the first speaker.

Conclusion

Conclude by offering the poem “The Art of Blessing the Day” by Marge Piercy. It is referenced in Victoria Safford’s sermon. The poem appears in Piercy’s collection of poems by the same name (Knopf, 2000).

For more information contact socialjustice @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 27, 2012.

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