In "Wonderful Welcome," a Tapestry of Faith program
Paper, markers and tape for simple signs
Participants demonstrate that sharing our beliefs is a form of sharing the gift of spirit.
Gather the children in the open space. Tell them:
When we come to be together in our Unitarian Universalist faith community, we have many ways we can share our spirit, even though we sometimes believe different things and care about different things.
Some people believe in God and some do not. Some people believe in fairies and some do not. Some people love dogs, some people love cats, some people love hamsters or fish, and some people do not like pets at all. In our Unitarian Universalist congregation, we respect everyone's beliefs. Sharing our spirit is about caring about one another even when we don't agree about what to believe. Let us see if we are willing to share our spirit with one another as we show some of the things we care about and believe.
Explain to the children that you will read some sentences and they will go and stand on an imaginary line that shows how they really feel about that statement. Point out the continuum and the signs indicating the opinions from "a lot" to "not at all." Show them where to stand if they believe in or care about something "a lot," "sort of," or "not at all." Remind them that anywhere in between the signs is okay. Emphasize that there are no right or wrong answers. In fact, all their answers are the right answer for them. Then, read these statements and/or ones you have created and invite the children to move to a place on the continuum.
You may ask for brief comments about why someone took the position they took, but avoid any arguments. Affirm all positions. Watch for put-downs or pressure to conform, and use such incidents as teachable moments to affirm each person's position, and our Third Principle: acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth.
Children this age are beginning to compare themselves with peers. In this activity, they are asked to publicly declare beliefs and feelings that may differ from others'. Do not allow a child to stand isolated as they move in response to the statements; have a co-leader take the same position, if needed.
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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