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

Activity 2: Tapping Our Personal Roots

Part of Spirit of Life

Activity time: 35 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.
  • Bell
  • Clock, watch, or timer that shows seconds
  • Optional: Newsprint, markers, and tape
  • Optional: Computer, digital projector, and digital slide to display the reflection questions
  • Optional: Cordless microphone

Preparation for Activity

  • Write these questions for reflection on newsprint or download the questions to your computer and create a digital slide to display during this activity:
    • What aspects of your life do you think of as being your "roots?" Some examples are places you've lived or are living, family origins, ethnic identity, and religious background.
    • Which of these roots nourish the "tree" of your spirituality today? How do they do that?
    • Which roots would you like to give more water to? Which ones do you want to strengthen and deepen, so they can nourish your spirituality more?
  • Post the newsprint or set up and test your computer and digital projector and display the digital slide.
  • Arrange tables and chairs so each participant has enough space to write or draw.
  • Place paper and drawing/writing implements for easy distribution to the group.

Description of Activity

Distribute writing paper and pens or pencils. Invite participants into a time of quiet reflection and writing or drawing in response to the questions that you have posted or displayed. Read aloud the questions and explain to participants they will have fifteen minutes for reflection and writing or drawing.

After fifteen minutes, ring the bell.

Encourage participants to find a partner, preferably someone with whom they have not spent time before. If you have an odd number of participants, form one triad. Instruct participants:

You are invited to take turns talking about your roots. I encourage you to focus your sharing on the roots that nourish you and the roots you wish to nourish more as you live your spirituality.

While one of you shares, the other listens attentively. After the first speaker finishes, let there be a moment of silence between you. Then switch roles. These are moments of precious sharing and confiding and we offer one another our mutual trust and regard.

Each person will have five minutes to speak without interruption. I will ring a bell when it is time to switch speaker and listener and again when it is time to end the time of sharing.

Ring the bell after five and ten minutes. If you have a triad, alert that group verbally to switch roles at three and six minutes so all three members will have equal time to share.

Re-gather the large group and lead a discussion with these questions:

  • Was it easy or hard for you to identify your roots and the ways they've fed (or not fed) your spirituality? Why?
  • What did it feel like to think about you roots?
  • How do you think your roots have affected your spirituality today?

Conclude the activity by inviting a few participants to name the roots that they want to nourish as they develop their sense of spirituality.

Invite them to leave their writings and drawings on the table for use in the next activity.