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Faith In Action: The Congregation's Social Justice Priorities, Workshop 5: Natural, Legal, and Human Rights

In "What We Choose: Ethics for Unitarian Universalists," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Read the description of this activity and reflect on the Faith in Action questions, in your journal or with your co-leader.
  • Familiarize yourself with the major social justice priorities and projects of your congregation.
  • Post blank newsprint.

Description of Activity

Invite participants to explore personal and congregational social justice commitments that affirm and promote rights.

Brainstorm a list of the congregation's major social justice priorities. Supplement participants' contributions with the information you have researched. Lead the group to consensus about the congregation's three or four top priorities.

Write each of the top priorities on a separate page of newsprint, and post. Consider each item in turn, inviting discussion about the rights each social justice commitment affirms and promotes and recording the rights on the newsprint. For example, if marriage equality is a priority project for your congregation, your congregation might affirm and promote equal civil rights for gay/lesbian individuals; if homelessness is an area of concern for your congregation, your congregation might affirm and promote the right to basic housing or the right to have basic physical and medical needs met.

Next, identify if those rights are natural rights, legal rights, human rights, or fall into more than one category. (Use Leader Resource 1 for background.) Record the identified categories next to each right.

After you have considered each social justice priority, lead reflection on the rights affirmed and promoted by the priorities. Ask:

  • Do the congregation's social justice priorities deepen your sense of pride in your congregation, Unitarian Universalism, and/or yourself?
  • Do the congregation's priorities inspire or motivate you to support those values, priorities, and projects?

Invite the group to decide together to take part in a congregational social justice project and plan actions to get started.

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

Last updated on Tuesday, January 24, 2012.

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