The third session of Amazing Grace: Exploring Right and Wrong asks youth to consider the nature of virtuous and sinful lives. It begins with the youth concocting a story of a personal day made awful by the presence of sin. They then try to conceive of pure virtue and pure sin, and make abstract paintings representing both in the form of heaven and hell. They hear a story that distinguishes heaven from hell through the presence of virtuous and sinful acts, then move on to Ethics Play.
This session is the third in a series of four that focuses on faith as it relates to right and wrong, virtue and sin.
When you speak of heaven and hell, be sure that youth know you are not presuming their belief in those concepts. Say that it is useful even for nonbelievers to think about them. They are important to consider because some people believe strongly in them, because they are central to the way that some religions deal with virtue and sin, and because they are interesting representations of pure virtue and sin, pure good and evil.
Faith in Action suggests that youth take on a project to improve congregational space, specifically the program space devoted to religious education. You might ask your director of religious education in advance about project ideas.
This session will:
- Explore the nature of virtue and sin
- Ask youth to conceive of purely virtuous and purely sinful lives
- Expose participants to several ways religions respond to good and evil
- Understand the concepts of heaven and hell as one of several ways faith groups respond to the existence of right and wrong
- Optional: Demonstrate why faith groups are important in promoting social justice
- Optional: Invite participants to create a group covenant.
- Consider how wrongdoings affect their own lives
- Imagine the nature of pure virtue and pure sin
- Use art to explore their own feelings about virtue and sin, heaven and hell
- Continue reflecting upon the relationship between free will and making ethical decisions
- Play roles in a hypothetical scenario where ethical decisions are demanded
- Optional: Reach an agreement upon how they will be together in the program
- Optional: Appreciate the importance of coming together as people of faith to work toward social justice.
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