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Introduction, Session 10: Courage And Conviction (Saddlebags)

In "Toolbox of Faith," a Tapestry of Faith program

From caring comes courage.

— Lao Tzu

Conscience is the root of all true courage.

— James Freeman Clarke, nineteenth-century British abolitionist

This session addresses courage and conviction. Saddlebags symbolize the courage and conviction bequeathed us by the early Universalist circuit riders. Though they were often not welcomed, and sometimes even violently derided for their beliefs, they rode from town to town to preach their message of faith, hope, and love and to build Universalist communities.

Using, activities, reflection, and the example of the words and deeds of these prophetic women and men, participants explore courage and conviction in their own lives. They think about the challenges and the importance of taking a stand, and they learn how the resources of their Unitarian Universalist faith can help them discern what they feel strongly about and stand up for what they believe.

Make sure there is ample time for a discussion of how people can work in their spiritual lives to decide what is important enough to become a "conviction." If it proves difficult to obtain saddlebags to use as the Tool of the Day, bicycle panniers or a rucksack will do. In any case, you will need a photo or drawing of saddlebags to add to the Toolbox of Our Faith poster. You can prepare two copies of this image — one for the poster, and one to be the Tool of the Day.

Before the session, collect images of people showing courage and conviction and post them before participants arrive. Pictures may be obtained from magazines, newspapers, wall calendars, websites, and history picture books. Include images of itinerant preachers from North American Universalist history. Find sources for images in "Find Out More."

For Activity 3: Making Courage Stones, you will need a few stones for each participant. Look for stones that are large enough to draw or paint on, yet small enough to keep in a pocket.

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Wednesday, October 26, 2011.

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