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Opening (15 minutes), Workshop 21: Neo-Paganism—The Sacredness of Creation

In "Building Bridges," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

  • Chalice, candle, lighter or LED/battery-operated candle
  • Newsprint, markers, and tape
  • Leader Resource 2, Paganism Background

Preparation for Activity

  • Read Leader Resource 2, Paganism Background so you will be comfortable presenting it.
  • Post a blank sheet of newsprint.

Description of Activity

Answer any questions that remain from the last workshop.

Invite youth to sit in a circle. Light the chalice with these words:

We light this chalice in celebration of Unitarian Universalism and the sustaining faiths of all people of the world. May the flame represent the fire of our commitment to understand all faithful people and build bridges that connect us as one human family.

Invite participants to check in by saying their names and briefly sharing their favorite outdoor activity.

Ask everyone to stand as they are able. Point to a wall and say it is the agreement wall. Point to the opposite wall. Say it is the disagreement wall. In between, is the "I don't know" space. Tell the group you will state that a specific group is Pagan and you want them to either go to the agree wall, the disagree wall, or the "I don't know" space.

Here are the statements:

  • People who practice earth-centered religions are Pagans.
  • Jews are Pagans.
  • The ancient Egyptians were pagan.
  • Devil worshipers are pagan.
  • Buddhists are pagans.
  • Practitioners of Native American religions are pagan.
  • Witches, or believers in Wicca, are pagan.
  • Unitarian Universalists are pagans.

Thank the group and ask them to sit down.

Read or share with youth, in your own words, the information in Leader Resource 2, Paganism Background. Use the newsprint to list important terms from the resource, including the definition from ReligiousTolerance.org, which you will refer to in the next activity.

Invite participants to briefly share something they know or have heard about Pagans. Also, ask what questions they have about Paganism. Write the questions on newsprint. Tell the group their questions might be answered by activities in this workshop and you will answer any questions you can. Tell them you will seek answers—or invite volunteers to seek answers—to remaining questions before the next meeting.

Including All Participants

If any participant cannot easily move from one side of the room to the other, have the youth indicate agree, disagree, and don't know while remaining seated. You might say, "Raise your right hand for 'agree,' raise your left hand for 'disagree,' and shrug your shoulders to indicate 'I don't know.'"

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 Friday, November 15, 2013.

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