Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Resistance and Transformation: An Adult Program on Unitarian Universalist Social Justice History


Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Worship or centering table
  • Chalice, candle, and lighter or LED battery-operated candle
  • Timepiece (minutes)
  • Chime or bell
  • Copies of Singing the Living Tradition, the UUA hymnbook, for all participants
  • Optional: Cloth for worship/centering table
  • Optional: Microphone
  • Optional: Keyboard or piano

Preparation for Activity

  • Arrange the worship or centering table, including the chalice, so all participants can see it when they are seated.
  • Choose a social justice hymn from Singing the Living Tradition that is familiar to participants. Possibilities include Hymn 119, "Once to Every Soul and Nation;" Hymn 121, "We'll Build a Land;" Hymn 140, "Hail the Glorious Golden City;" Hymn 146, "Soon the Day Will Arrive;" Hymn 157, "Step By Step;" Hymn 162, "Gonna Lay Down My Sword and Shield;" Hymn 168, "One More Step;" and Hymn 170," We are a Gentle, Angry People."
  • Optional: Invite a musician to teach and/or accompany the hymn.

Description of Activity

Invite a participant to light the chalice while you lead a unison reading of Reading 449 from Singing the Living Tradition, "We hallow this time together by kindling the lamp of our heritage."

Lead the group in singing the hymn you have chosen.

After the song, explain that this workshop looks at the Unitarian Universalist response to the Vietnam War, focusing on the issue of the military draft. Note that the war in Vietnam ended in 1972, during some of our lifetimes; many have knowledge of the issues we will focus on today. Tell participants you will make a series of statements and they may raise their hand if a statement applies to them:

I have seen photos or film footage of the Vietnam War.

I have seen at least one movie set during the Vietnam War.

I am from Vietnam.

I was drafted to fight in the Vietnam War.

I served in the Vietnam War.

I made every effort to avoid serving in the Vietnam War.

I resisted the draft and refused to comply with my draft orders.

I left the United States to evade the draft.

I have friends who served in the Vietnam War.

I actively protested against the Vietnam War or the draft.

I have immediate family who served in Vietnam.

I studied the Vietnam War in school.

Point out that the workshop will be enriched by the variety of perspectives and experiences participants bring.