In "Building Bridges," a Tapestry of Faith program
Participants visit a Hindu temple and/or interact with a speaker.
Visiting a Hindu Temple
Before leaving, remind participants that they will be visitors in other people's sacred home. They come not as observers, but as people of faith worshipping with other people of faith. They should be prepared to converse with people in the temple. Remind them it is okay to tell people that this is their first visit and to ask forgiveness for any mistakes they may make. People will be understanding, just as they themselves are welcoming and understanding with visitors to their own congregation. Some things will be unfamiliar and surprising; they should save their startled or amused observations for discussion later. This is a learning opportunity and a privilege.
Provide guidance for the observations you expect youth to make during the visit. If you have prepared one, distribute the handout of questions to guide participants' observations during their visit. Ask them to write their observation notes after, not during, the worship service.
Attend service at a temple. If possible, meet afterward with someone knowledgeable in Hinduism or with the temple's youth group for discussion.
After the visit, follow up with participants on the observations you suggested. To prompt further discussion, ask:
Thank the youth for their participation.
Inviting a Speaker from a Hindu Temple
To adapt this activity for a visitor in your space, deduct the travel time and restate the questions about the temple as questions for your visitor, for example:
Visit the temple ahead of time to determine what, if any, accommodations are needed for youth with disabilities.
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Last updated on Wednesday, October 26, 2011.
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