Leader Resource 5: Engaging as Religious Professionals
This is a 30-minute activity.
- Newsprint, markers, and tape
Prepare and post a sheet of newsprint with these questions:
- In what ways do you agree with Fahs? In what ways do you differ?
- Is “God-talk” an issue in your congregation?
- How do you as a professional work with a variety of opinions and perspectives in regard to the word “God”?
- Is the language you use to name “the ineffable, unutterable reality, both beyond and within all” in an interfaith context (such as an interfaith worship service or social justice project) different from the language you use in a Unitarian Universalist context?
Share this quote from Fahs’ Worshipping Together with Questioning Minds:
A modern Psalmist, “having pressed his hands against the confining walls of scientific method,” sings his own reverent poetic song to the ineffable, unutterable reality, both beyond and within all. To call this by the word God is in no deep sense an answer. The word merely suggests that there must be an answer even though we may never know fully what it is.
To be agnostic simply to save ourselves the mental trouble of further delving or because we have grown weary of trying to think hard, or because we are afraid to run the risk of finding that life is not after all what we want it to be, may well dull our alertness in general. The kind of agnosticism worthy of an intelligent and courageous person is the kind that is ceaselessly trying to decrease the range of its unknowing. It is not the freedom to live in a world of [one’s] own dreaming that the person of integrity claims. It is rather a hardy freedom to insist on the liberty to dare to risk trying to live in truth.
Invite participants to form groups of three or four and reflect on Fahs’ ideas, using the posted questions as a guide.
After 20 minutes, signal that time is up and invite participants back into the large group.Lead a discussion, using these questions as a guide:
- What interesting insights arose from the small group conversations?
- Are you considering doing anything differently going forward as a result of this workshop?