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In "Riddle and Mystery," a Tapestry of Faith program
Many youth, like many adults, may not be sure what they believe about the existence of God. This activity uses a handout to help youth think privately about their beliefs. It invites them to share answers with the group only if they wish, and it does not ask them to turn the completed handout in to you.
Explain the activity with words like these: "Sometimes, people are not quite sure what they believe about God, and thinking their way carefully through the subject can help them decide. In just a moment, I will pass out a page with some yes or no questions that you might find useful. I will not ask you to pass the completed handout in, so you can keep your responses private if you wish to."
Distribute pencils and copies of Handout 1, and ask the youth to spend a few minutes thinking and then answering the yes and no questions. Remind them that the handouts are theirs to keep, and they will not be asked to share their answers if they do not wish to.
If there is time for a brief discussion, invite comments. Does anybody wish to share their answers? Why do they think the first and last questions are the same? (Because answering the questions in between might cause participants to change their minds.) Remind them of the Forrest Church quote given in WCUU; that "God" is not God's name. It is just a word that people use for a higher power. This means you might believe in God but use a different word (like "Mystery," "the eternal" or "divine") to show your belief. Say that some UU adults like to share their ideas about God, but others prefer to keep their ideas to themselves. How do participants feel about that? If most of the group feels one way or the other, will they feel pressured to agree? Or are they comfortable saying that their own ideas are quite different?
If time is short, invite participants to take the handouts home to complete.
If you have participants with limited reading skills, read through the page with the full group before participants respond to it.
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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