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In "Amazing Grace," a Tapestry of Faith program
Help youth identify shared Unitarian Universalist values and understand the self- and mutual respect those values help to build.
Begin by asking why the youth and their families are members or friends of your congregation. "Why do you and your families come here? What draws you to this congregation instead of another one?"
Through further questions and discussion help the youth understand that Unitarian Universalists gather and are comfortable together because they share the same values.
Divide the youth into smaller groups of three or four participants. Give each group a sheet of newsprint and markers, and ask them to list some Unitarian Universalist values. If you think your group will benefit from some assistance, make available copies of the Unitarian Universalist hymnbooks, pamphlets, and magazines. Youth can look through them to get some ideas of what UU values are.
Allow three or four minutes for the groups to compile their lists. Then bring the full group together and ask each small group in turn to call out values for you or a co-leader to write on newsprint.
Remind the group as appropriate that one excellent example of Unitarian Universalist values is the statement of UU Principles that appears in the front of Singing the Living Tradition and on wall posters. Be sure that your group's lists reflect most if not all of those values.
Continue the activity with questions like these:
Help youth realize that respect for the views of others is a Unitarian Universalist value. This does not mean mindless acceptance of and respect for all ideas. Most UUs do not honor people whose values lead them to lives of violent crime. Ask participants how they would distinguish between differing values they respect and those they might actively oppose. One test might be whether the differing values cause hurt to anybody. It is one thing to respect differing ideas about the existence of God, another to respect values that cause intentional harm.
For more information contact web @ uua.org.
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Last updated on Wednesday, October 26, 2011.
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