Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: What Moves Us: A Unitarian Universalist Theology Program for Adults

Activity 3: Testing Fahs

Part of What Moves Us

Activity time: 25 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers, and tape
  • Participant journals
  • Variety of writing and drawing implements
  • Timepiece (minutes)
  • Newsprint from Activity 2 with Fahs' list of five basic impulses, needs, and emotions
  • Optional: Bell or chime

Preparation for Activity

  • Prepare and post newsprint with these questions:
    • Which of the five basic human needs, impulses, and emotions were addressed by the experience you identified in your journal as a religious experience?
    • Did the emotional experience you described as "not religious" arise from any of Fahs' basic emotions?
    • What would be necessary to transform the emotion you described as "not religious" to one you might describe as "religious?"
    • Does Fahs' idea that our basic emotions give rise to and are transformed into religious emotions make sense to you?
    • Do you use the term God in the way Fahs suggests as "the ineffable, unutterable reality, both beyond and within all?"

Description of Activity

Invite participants to move into groups of three and share their reflections about the two stories from Activity 2 with their small group members. Allow ten minutes.

Tell them when time is up.

Then, ask participants to consider once again the experiences about which they journaled in Activity 1. Invite them to use the questions posted on newsprint to reflect on their experiences. Ask them to respond first in their theology journals and then to share their reflections, feelings, and thoughts in their small groups. Allow 20 minutes. Remind participants to refrain from commenting upon or critiquing each other's personal reflections and encourage them to simply share their own personal reflections and listen deeply to one another from a place of heartfelt engagement. Remind them that after everyone has spoken, if there is time they might share in a final round their thoughts, feelings, and insights based on this small group exercise.

Signal when time is up, and re-gather the large group.