Activity 3: Testing Church's Twenty-First Century Universalism

Activity 3: Testing Church's Twenty-First Century Universalism
Activity 3: Testing Church's Twenty-First Century Universalism

Activity time: 20 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers, and tape
  • Participant journals
  • Variety of writing and drawing implements
  • Timepiece (minutes)
  • Optional: Bell or chime
  • Optional: Microphone

Preparation for Activity

  • Write the question for small groups on newsprint:
    • Have you ever felt the need to "reboot" your life? If so, what did you do as a Unitarian Universalist to work toward this goal?

Description of Activity

Invite participants to form groups of three and to briefly, in turn, share thoughts and feelings they have written in their journals in response to the Forrest Church stories and reflections. Explain the small group process using these or similar words:

Each member of your group, in turn, will have two minutes to share briefly some of their journal reflections. Share with the group your own thoughts, feelings, and reflections and listen deeply, without comment, to the thoughts, feelings, and reflections of others. Your group is invited to appoint a timekeeper or to share timekeeping responsibilities to assure that all have an equal amount of time to speak.

Signal when six minutes are up. Ask participants to remain in their groups of three while you share these words written by Church:

If our religion doesn't inspire in us a humble affection for one another and a profound sense of awe at the wonder of being, one of two things has happened. It has failed us, or we it. Should either be the case, we must go back to the beginning and start all over again. We must reboot our lives until the wonder we experience proves itself authentic by the quality of our response to it.

Invite participants to recall the experiences of wonder and awe they described earlier in the workshop. Ask them to remain in their three-person groups and consider the posted question, and share, in turn, their responses. Explain that after all have shared for about two minutes each, each person will have another two minutes to offer additional insights and thoughts that arise from the initial round of sharing. Allow ten minutes for this portion of the activity.

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