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In "Resistance and Transformation," a Tapestry of Faith program
Distribute Handout 1, Collaboration or Confrontation? Explain that you will shift from discussing Channing's struggle about speaking against slavery to a conflict between Theodore Parker and Channing's successor, Ezra Stiles Gannett, over the Fugitive Slave Law. Project Leader Resources 2 and 3 or pass around printed copies of the Parker and Gannet portraits. Give the group time to read the handout silently or invite two volunteers to share reading the handout aloud.
Invite participants to move into groups of three to examine the values and priorities of both Gannett and Parker. Give each small group newsprint and markers and invite them to list the values Parker and Gannett prioritized. Ask small groups to consider whether they find parts of either person's rhetoric or actions troubling. Allow ten minutes for small group work, and then invite each group to post their list.
Re-gather the large group and examine the newsprint lists together. Are there are areas of disagreement among the small groups? What were common concerns about the strategies, rhetoric, and actions of either Gannett or Parker?
Lead a brief, large group discussion, using these questions:
Conclude your discussion by inviting participants to name contemporary social justice issues that polarize Unitarian Universalists. What lessons can be drawn from Gannett and Parker's conflict?
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Last updated on Saturday, December 10, 2011.
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