Activity time: 20 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Optional: Paper and pens/pencils

Description of Activity

A radical aspect of Joseph Tuckerman's service to the poor of Boston was his commitment to listening to and learning from the people he sought to help. This activity invites participants to ask caring questions, to listen deeply, and to share personal information they might not know about one another.

In a small group, it can be powerful to have each person interviewed by the whole group. This way, each person is heard by everyone, and everyone learns whatever each person chooses to share. However, if you have a large group you may wish to form smaller groups, each with an adult leader to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to be interviewed. Assess the time you have for the interviews and calculate how much time each interview may have. Stick to the time limit to make sure each person is interviewed.

Ask the group whether they have seen celebrities interviewed on television. Say in your own words:

Joseph Tuckerman believed every person's life was worth hearing about. When he asked poor people what they needed, his questions came from genuine interest and concern. Now we will have the opportunity to interview the members of our group and learn more about each other. Each person will have a turn to be interviewed, and all members of the group will be asking questions.

Remind the group of your covenant, and point out the importance of treating the person being interviewed with respect. Affirm that no one has to answer any question they do not want to. Anyone can say "pass" if they would rather not answer. Some possible questions include: What have you done that you are most proud of? What scares you? What is your favorite activity? Why were you given the name that you have? What would you do with $1000?

After everyone has had the opportunity to be interviewed, lead the participants to reflect:

  • How did it feel to be interviewed?
  • Did any questions make you uncomfortable?
  • Did it feel good to have the group learn more about you?
  • How did it feel to learn more about others?

Including All Participants

Have participants volunteer to be interviewed rather than going around a circle, so that anyone who is uncomfortable as center of attention can easily pass.

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.

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