Activity time: 30 minutes
Materials for Activity
Preparation for Activity
- Review the stories so that you are able to effectively read them aloud.
- Optional: Arrange for volunteers to read stories aloud. Provide the stories to volunteer readers before the workshop.
Description of Activity
Share with participants:
Thandeka believes we Unitarian Universalists know what moves us as religious people: personal experience. But she sees us stumbling when we try to articulate our own theology of personal experience. So Thandeka says we have to start with the basic elements of personal experience for us as Unitarian Universalists. To this end, Thandeka uses stories with further reflections to spotlight what she calls the three basic elements of personal experience for us today:
(1) Our individual change of heart,
(2) Our religious community's ethos of care and compassion, and
(3) Our doctrinal freedom.
The first story focuses on our individual experience of a change. Here, Thandeka uses her own personal experience as primary text.
Invite participants to sit comfortably and listen to a story about how Thandeka learned to feel love beyond belief. Read aloud the story or invite a participant to do so.
Pause for at least a minute of silence to allow time for participants to absorb the story. Invite them to write feelings and thoughts in their theology journal.
Invite another participant to read aloud the second story, "A Lonely Soul in Community" and Thandeka's reflections.
Invite a third participant to read the third story, "Doctrinal Freedom."
Pause for at least a minute of silence to allow time for participants to absorb the stories and the author's reflections. Invite participants to write feelings and thoughts in their theology journals.