In "Faithful Journeys," a Tapestry of Faith program
This activity reinforces children's learning as they model translating faith into action for one another. To strengthen children's Unitarian Universalist identity, help participants see how their own behavior demonstrates specific Principles.
Gather in a circle. Point to the Faithful Journeys Path and say:
Together we are taking a journey to learn what it means to live as Unitarian Universalists. Each time we meet, we have a chance to talk about ways our actions show our beliefs about what is right and good. This is called "putting our faith into action."
When you share about something you have done that shows what you believe, you can choose a footprint or tracks for us to put on our Faithful Journeys Path.
Hold up the footprint you made of your own faithful action. Tell what you did and how it represents your Unitarian Universalist beliefs. If you can connect your action to a Principle, briefly explain. For example:
Ask the children to think of an act they have done, since you met last, that reflects Unitarian Universalism. You may wish to prompt:
As participants name their actions, write a word or phrase describing the action on a footprint or wheelchair tracks cutout. Invite children to write their names on their cutouts and post them along the edge of the Faithful Journeys Path. While in early sessions you posted cutouts near the start of the path, have participants post cutouts so that they continue to make progress along the path over the course of the program.
To stay within the time frame for this activity, use these guidelines:
It is very important to avoid judging participants, either with criticism or praise. Avoid phrases like "Great job!" or "You're fantastic!" which might suggest that acts of faith vary in their value or encourage children to compete to share the "best" act.
You should, however, respond to each child's contribution. Listen carefully to what a child tells you. After each child shares, say something like, "Thank you for sharing," followed by a summarizing sentence, such as:
Identify the Unitarian Universalist Principles each act represents; refer to the Principles poster if the room has one or indicate a relevant signpost on the Faithful Journeys Path. By responding specifically to each child's faithful actions, you will help them feel pride, a sense of accomplishment, and their own empowerment as agents whose actions and choices reflect Unitarian Universalist beliefs and values.
Along with cut-out footprints (Session 1, Handout 3, Faithful Footprints), provide wheelchairs (Session 1, Handout 4, Making Tracks for Faith) in the same colors of paper. Encourage all the children — not just those who use wheelchairs for mobility — to sometimes use a wheelchair instead of footprints to represent their faithful actions.
For more information contact web @ uua.org.
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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