In "A Place of Wholeness," a Tapestry of Faith program
In this activity, participants hear the words of Reverend Joshua Mason Pawelek on the importance of ancestors for us today.
Introduce the story by saying something like:
The following story comes from a sermon Unitarian Universalist minister Joshua Mason Pawelek delivered during the closing worship of the UUA General Assembly in 2007. Rev. Pawelek talks about ancestors, particularly our Unitarian, Universalist, and Unitarian Universalist ancestors, and their relevance to us today.
After introducing the story, either show the video clip or read the sermon aloud. Participants may interact with the story by proclaiming "hallelujah" when prompted.
After showing the video or reading the sermon, engage participants in a discussion using the following questions:
Remind youth that not all ancestors lived long ago. If your congregation includes a memorial garden or a portrait gallery of past ministers and leaders, visit it or mention it. If you know a short story about someone represented in this space and their contribution to the congregation, share it. If you know a short story about an artifact (such as a chalice, organ, or playground) and how it came to belong to the congregation, consider sharing.
Conclude the discussion by explaining that the saints, souls, forbears, preachers, prophets, heretics, and resisters represent the wings of our Unitarian Universalist tradition because they have transported our faith to new places. But they are also roots for us, because it is on their foundations that we have grown and shaped our tradition over the years. Tell participants that they will hear stories of our ancestors throughout this program. We will often ask, "What does this story have to do with me? Am I part of the faith tradition in this story? If so, how will I carry on the traditions and values I inherited?"
Ask participants, "What actions have you taken that mirror our Unitarian Universalist ancestors?"
Make sure that everyone can see and hear the video. During the discussion, encourage balanced participation and draw out quiet voices by guiding conversation and asking for new voices to speak up before others speak a second or third time.
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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