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Introduction, Session 12: Human And Divine

In "Amazing Grace," a Tapestry of Faith program

To err is human, to forgive divine.

— Alexander Pope

To understand everything is to forgive everything.

— Hindu Prince Gautama Siddhartha, the founder of Buddhism

Session 12 focuses on forgiveness. It explores such religious ideas as redemption and salvation: concepts that are meaningful for many UUs and helpful for youth to understand more fully other faith communities. This is the final session in a series of four based on the theme of spiritual development.

The session begins with the above quotation from Alexander Pope, and then uses stories of Prometheus and Jesus to present two attitudes toward forgiveness. Participants  visit a quiet part of the building and then reflect on how place can influence their own spiritual thoughts and understanding. Activity 4, Matching in Motion helps youth remember and understand some religious terms. A series of wall-to-wall questions invites youth to respond to work they have done in Session 9-12 on spiritual development. In Faith in Action, youth consider offering forgiveness to somebody in their own lives.

Language about forgiveness and salvation is thick and may not come easily to sixth graders; do not force it. Give what they can accept and move on. If youth are attentive and interested, take whatever time you need to be sure they understand the theological concepts you present — especially in Activity 1, which introduces original sin, redemption and communion, and talks about salvation in the course of discussing the two stories. Remember to plan tight, but present loose. If discussion is rich, consider using more time for it.

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Last updated on Wednesday, October 26, 2011.

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