In our era the road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action. — Dag Hammarskjold
This session introduces the program and welcomes participants as faithful travelers. Children learn how beliefs about what is right and fair connect with actions people can take to express their beliefs. They are guided to begin forming concepts of faith and faith in action.
The children walk a Faithful Journeys Path, stopping to hear three stories about people who put their Unitarian Universalist faith into action. They are introduced to the Unitarian Universalist Principles, in both adult and children's language, as statements of our shared Unitarian Universalist beliefs. They create a group covenant, establishing behavior expectations for the group.
A Faithful Journeys Path is posted and decorated with its first signpost, a green light; it will be displayed throughout the program. The children learn they will move forward on the path — symbolically, by attaching cut-out footprints — as they practice different ways to turn their faith and beliefs into action.
You are encouraged to choose a standard opening for Faithful Journeys sessions and begin using it in this session. Before doing so, you may want to review Leader Resource 1, Alternate Openings.
Leader Resource 2 gives guidance for making the Faithful Journeys Path.
Alternate Activity 1, Candles of Joys and Sorrows, appears only in this session. If your sessions have time, you might make this activity a regular part of your Closing.
This session will:
- Introduce the idea that we can translate our Unitarian Universalist beliefs into our actions — the way we live
- Strengthen Unitarian Universalist identity by presenting the Unitarian Universalist Principles as guidelines for action and by sharing three real stories of faithful actions by Unitarian Universalists
- Build community and emphasize mutual responsibility to create and maintain a positive learning environment
- Lay groundwork for children to progress along a Faithful Journeys Path by sharing about their own faithful actions in future sessions.
- Experience the rituals and format of the Faithful Journeys sessions
- Begin to connect beliefs about what is right and fair with actions people can take that express their beliefs
- Experience themselves as beginning a journey
- Affirm, by generating a group covenant, each person's responsibility for creating the shared learning environment
- Explore the language and meaning of the seven Unitarian Universalist Principles.