Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way...

— Isak Dinesen

Freedom. Freedom to question, explore, and make decisions based on our conscious. Freedom from prejudice and the right to be viewed as individuals. Hope for a world changed by love. Freedom and hope are two values that have always been important to Unitarians, Universalists, and now to Unitarian Universalists. This workshop explores freedom and hope by discussing poetry that deals with difficult issues: prison, death of a loved one, and racism. Whether the difficulties arise from a social wrong or personal loss, faith and hope are motivators that help us through tough times and into a brighter tomorrow.

This workshop deals with topics that are more solemn than those of other workshops. Gauge how well participants are able to think about these issues. Activity 2, Death of a Loved One, might be difficult for a youth who has recently experienced a loss. Check with your religious educator ahead of time.

Goals

This workshop will:

  • Examine poetry that looks at tough issues and how people face difficult times
  • Allow participants to explore writing as a spiritual practice that helps process the emotions resulting from life's difficulties
  • Optional: Offer an opportunity for the congregation to promote literacy and memorialize a deceased loved one through donating to Reading is Fundamental

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Recognize some of the common dilemmas of our human existence
  • Reflect upon the way several poets and songwriters have explored these dilemmas
  • Acknowledge hope as an important tool in our work to right society's wrongs
  • Express shared truths about the human condition in writing
  • Optional: Provide a means for congregants to honor a deceased loved one
  • Optional: Discover UU hymns that express our beliefs in freedom and hope

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.