Tapestry of Faith: Spirit of Life: An Adult Program on Unitarian Universalist Spirituality

Activity 3: Justice and Spirit

Part of Spirit of Life

Activity time: 30 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Paper for drawing or writing
  • Drawing and writing implements, such as pencils, color pencils, markers, crayons
  • Table(s) with adequate space for each participant to write or draw.
  • A bell
  • Clock, watch, or timer that shows seconds
  • Optional: Cordless microphone

Preparation for Activity

  • Arrange tables and chairs to allow adequate space for each participant to write or draw.
  • Place paper and drawing/writing implements for easy distribution to the group.

Description of Activity

Introduce this time of reflection and discussion by asking participants to share the names of people they know, famous or otherwise, who bring a strong sense of spirituality to their work for justice. Names might include luminaries such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, Mohandas Gandhi, The Dalai Lama, Mother Theresa, Daniel Berrigan, and others. When a name is shared, ask those who have shared it if they can say a few words about how this person connected spirituality with justice. Allow five minutes for this part of the activity.

Now, invite participants to reflect on how justice work can be, or already is, an expression of their own spirituality. Pose these questions for reflection:

  • What do you believe, and feel, spiritually about your relationship to other people? To other beings? To our planet?
  • What are some ways that the experience of injustice affects you spiritually? (I.e., injustice you've experienced or injustice you've learned about others experiencing.)
  • For you, what is (or what could be) spiritual about working for justice?
  • For you, how would (or does) it look and feel to strongly integrate your spirituality and work for justice?

Tell participants:

A bell will lead you in and out of a quiet in which you can contemplate these questions. You are invited to come forward as you feel moved to gather supplies for drawing or writing.

Allow ten minutes for reflection, drawing, and writing and ring the bell when the time is up.

Invite participants to form pairs for discussion. Encourage participants to pair with a new partner or with someone they don't know well. If you have an odd number of participants, form one triad.

Offer these instructions:

In pairs, I invite one of you to share while the other listens attentively, openly. After the first speaker finishes, let there be a moment of silence between you. Then switch roles. Each person will have five minutes to share. A bell will ring when it's time to shift roles and to end the time of sharing.

Ring the bell at five minutes and at ten minutes. If you have a triad, watch the clock and signal this group verbally at two minutes and four minutes to help participants share their time equally.

Re-gather the whole group and say: "We have a few minutes for sharing in the larger group. What did you discover? What did you say or hear that you want to share with the larger group?"

Allow as many responses as time permits. Thank each person who speaks.