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

Activity 4: Social Justice Panel

Part of The New UU

Activity time: 30 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Recruit a panel of people from your congregation who have been involved with social justice. The Social Justice Committee chairperson and minister may be helpful in selecting the panel. Strive for diversity of age, including at least one youth and one young adult. Potential panelists include:
    • Social Justice Committee chairperson
    • Unitarian Universalist Service Committee representative
    • A representative of your Welcoming Congregation Committee and/or Interweave chapter, or someone active in equal marriage advocacy
    • An anti-racism activist
    • A representative of congregationally-based community organizing
    • A Green Sanctuary representative, or other environmental activist
    • A peace activist
    • An activist for women's rights or the right to choose.
  • Complete and personalize the sample letter (Leader Resource 1, Letter to Panelists) and send to each panelist.
  • Reconfigure seating so the panel can fully face the participants.

Description of Activity

Participants will hear stories from social justice activists in the congregation that illustrate the Action-Reflection Model. Introduce the activity using these or similar words:

We have learned something about how our actions inform our theology and how our theology informs our actions. Now we have a group of panelists who will help us understand how that plays out in their lives in the work they do in the world. We'll all introduce ourselves - panelists, please give us an idea of how long you've been involved with the congregation. Then, each panelist will tell us how Unitarian Universalism has informed their social justice work, and how their work has informed their faith.

After the introductions, monitor the time so each panelist has an equal amount. If necessary, prompt panelists to wrap up. Presentations should be complete in about 20 minutes. Then, invite workshop participants to ask questions. If participants are reluctant, have panelists ask one another any questions that came up for them. At the end of the time, thank the panelists.