Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: The New UU: A Program for Welcoming Newcomers to Unitarian Universalist Congregations

Activity 3: Formative Religious Stories

Part of The New UU

Activity time: 25 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Familiarize yourself with Leader Resource 1, Meditation on Formative Stories, reading it aloud at a slow pace until you are comfortable with it.

Description of Activity

Guide participants through a meditation, using Leader Resource 1.

At the conclusion of the meditation, invite participants to find one other person (not a spouse or friend) to share with. Invite them to briefly share their story and how that story has affected them through their lives. At the end of five minutes, sound the chime or bell, and say

If the second person hasn't spoken yet, now is the time for them to talk.

After five more minutes, bring the group back together and say something like:

Stories have a great deal of power in our lives, sometimes in ways we don't even recognize. They help us understand how things work in the world and how we wish they would work. They teach us about family, about conflict, and about our values. That's why much of our religious education is based in stories. We want both children and adults to have a library of potential narratives to help make sense of life, to help know which way the wind is blowing and how to deal with the obstacles that come our way. What did you learn individually and from one another about how narrative functions in our lives?

Lead a discussion to explore the question.

Conclude by saying in your own words:

Unitarian Universalist faith development draws on stories from the many sources of our tradition. To develop our faith, we invite people to find the intersection between traditional and contemporary stories and their own experience. This way, we draw on the wisdom of stories to find our own way.