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In "Amazing Grace," a Tapestry of Faith program
In this activity, youth make silhouette drawings of their heads, identify characteristics that make people virtuous, and meditate on their own strengths.
Ask participants to work in pairs to make silhouette drawings of each other's heads. Each pair will need two sheets of paper and one or two markers. Each partner in turn should lay one side of her or his head down on paper while the other partner loosely moves a marker around the shape of the head to make a silhouette drawing. When they have finished, the youth will each have a simple drawing showing one side of their face.
Now have the pairs separate so participants can work independently. Give them instructions like these:
You have just made a drawing that shows one side of you to the world. Let us think of that as your good side. Now use a pencil or marker to write on your drawing some of the characteristics people need not just to show but to do their good side. In other words, what strengths do people need so they can act on their faith and be virtuous?
Give participants a few minutes to write. If a few are slow to begin, consider suggesting some common virtues of good people: strength, understanding, knowledge, love, ability to forgive. If most of the group seem to need some help, pause for a moment to brainstorm ideas and then have the youth continue. You may wish to point out that you are asking the youth to describe virtuous people in general. You are not asking them to write down their own virtues, even though you are sure they have many.
When the group seems to be running out of ideas, ask participants to stop writing and share aloud some of what they have written. Then lead them in a very brief meditation moment with words like this:
Let us sit in silence a moment and think about what we have written and what we have heard.
Now let us each pick a word that we think applies to us. What do other people see when you show the good side of your character?
Think how you can build on that strength.
Now think of a good characteristic that is not a personal strength, but is one you would like to strengthen. Remember, we are not born strong and virtuous. Sometimes we have to work to build up our ethical strength, just as we have to work to build up our bodies. We can shape our own characters, just as we can shape our own muscles. So what will you work on? How will you do it?
Think about this: Using and practicing the strength may help.
Take your thoughts with you as we end our time together. Carry them with you and use them to help you not just show, but also do, your right side in the days ahead.
Be sure that work surfaces are convenient to use for as many participants as possible. If any participants cannot easily lay their heads on a table or counter, you can do the drawings by putting the paper on cardboard backing and holding it up to the side of their head.
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Last updated on Wednesday, October 26, 2011.
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