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Welcoming and Entering, Workshop 20: Atheism and Agnosticism—Not in Temples Made with Hands

In "Building Bridges," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

  • Small hand mirrors, enough for all participants to have one
  • Writing materials
  • Newsprint, markers, and tape

Preparation for Activity

  • Create sign reading: "What Do You See? What Can This Person Do?"
  • Place sign, writing materials, and mirrors on welcoming table.

Description of Activity

Participants look at themselves and write objectively about what they see.

As participants enter, invite them to the welcoming table and suggest that each take writing materials and a mirror. Invite each to take a centering moment where they clear their thoughts of the way they usually think of themselves, then with clear eyes and as near as they can get to no assumptions, look in the mirror. Write without judgment what they see. Impressions are fine to add, too, but they are not to criticize themselves.

After they have described the person in the mirror, look again, recalling now their abilities, talents, and strengths. What does this person do well? What have they learned? What contributions do they make? What are their hopes? Write these as well.

If asked the purpose of this activity, share that today's workshop is about atheism and agnosticism. One of the most important tenets of people who do not believe in God is honesty—seeing things as they really are. And as with any spiritual journey, the place to start is at home. We cannot be honest with others until we are honest with ourselves. So, that is where we are starting, with an open-eyed look at the person in the mirror.

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

Last updated on Monday, December 12, 2011.

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