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Closing (10 minutes), Workshop 3: The Beloved Community

In "A Chorus of Faiths," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

  • Copies of Singing the Living Tradition, the Unitarian Universalist hymnbook
  • Slips of plain paper and pens/pencils
  • Taking It Home

Preparation for Activity

  • Adapt Taking It Home and copy for all participants or arrange to distribute by email after the workshop.

Description of Activity

Gather the group in a circle. Debrief the workshop with these questions:

  • What was your favorite story of interfaith work heard today?
  • Do you have any new insights into how you might be good interfaith leaders?

Distribute copies of Singing the Living Tradition and have the group read in unison Margaret Mead's words from Reading 561.

Say, in your own words:

James Luther Adams, a Unitarian theologian, claimed that we are a prophethood of all believers, that instead of looking for a hero to lead us, or expecting others to build the beloved community, each one of us is called and empowered to do this work.

Hand out slips of paper and pens/pencils, and say:

Please choose a word or short phrase, perhaps from one of the stories you heard today, that helps to inspire you personally to build the beloved community. We will spend the next minute in silence as you write this word or phrase on your slip of paper.

Give participants a minute to write. Then, invite the group to go around the room, each speaking aloud their word of inspiration if they choose to do so.

Then say, in your own words:

Thank you for sharing the words that inspire you. During the Civil Rights Movement, one song that gave stamina and inspiration to the protestors was an African American spiritual that became a symbol of the struggle for freedom and justice. This is the song Viola Liuzzo sang as she was pursued by the Ku Klux Klan.

Lead participants in singing Hymn 169, "We Shall Overcome," from Singing the Living Tradition. Remind them that this song, with roots in African American hymns, was commonly sung during protests and marches of the Civil Rights Movement.

Extinguish the chalice. Distribute Taking It Home. Thank participants.

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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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