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
  • Participant journals
  • Writing materials, including paper, pens, pencils, color pencils, and markers
  • 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.

Tell the group this workshop invites them to reflect: What does it mean to consider the work of fostering a healthy perspective on human sexuality a social justice issue?

Acknowledge that the topic of sexuality is intensely personal, and encourage participants to consider this issue as an object of public witness and theological reflection rather than personal disclosure. Remind participants that this workshop does not require anyone to share personal information or experiences.

Make sure that participants have their journals, and something to write with. Invite participants to engage in a journaling exercise to reflect on the difference between sexuality as a personal, private matter and sexuality as a matter of public witness and social, cultural, or religious expression. Give these directions:

Create two columns on a page in your journal. Label one column "Private" and the other "Public." Under "Private," write any aspects of sexuality you think are private and personal. Under "Public," write any aspects of sexuality you think are part of your social identity, in the public sphere, or otherwise related to society at large. You will not be asked to share this entry with the group.

Allow four or five minutes for participants to complete this journal entry.