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Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers and tape

Preparation for Activity

  • Write at the top of a sheet of newsprint: "What is Faith?"
  • On a second sheet of newsprint write the following quote:

One's faith qualifies and gives tone to one's entire way of interpreting, reacting to, and taking initiatives in the world. It is the awareness, the intuition, the conviction of relatedness to something or someone more than the mundane. - James Fowler

  • Place both pieces of newsprint on an easel with the "What is Faith?" question on top of the Fowler quote. You will show the quote after leading a brainstorm on the question.

Description of Activity

In this activity, participants begin to explore the meaning of faith.

Ask participants: "What is faith?" Write their responses on the newsprint. Remember, brainstorming is about getting ideas on newsprint and not about evaluating the ideas. Spend about eight minutes, or until the energy winds down.

When the brainstorm is complete, flip to the page with the Fowler quote and ask one of the participants to read it aloud. First, ask participants if there are any words that they do not recognize or concepts that do not make sense to them. Then ask if they see any similarities or differences between what Fowler said and their own ideas.

Tell them that James Fowler is a developmental psychologist who has studied how peoples' faith is formed and has developed a model to help us understand that development. Let them know that you will be talking more about that model and other faith development models in the next activity.

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