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


Activity time: 20 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.

Make sure that each participant has their journal and something to write with. Invite participants to consider:

Recall a time when you felt marginalized or unwelcome in a situation because of who you are rather then because of something you did or said. What happened? Who was there? How did you feel? How did you respond?

Allow participants five minutes to reflect and make notes in their journals. Then, invite them to turn to a partner and share their story. Allow ten minutes for paired sharing.

Now share this quotation from Unitarian Universalist minister Jen Crow:

It is our calling, I believe, as people of faith to take off our armor-to remove to the best of our ability the fear that distances us from one another, to face hatred with calm and gentleness, to sing with love as we pass those who might call us an abomination, to stand together with all who are oppressed as we use own experience of wholeness and liberation to help liberate others. It is our calling, I believe, as people of faith, to create for others and for ourselves the conditions in our church and in our whole community in which we can all say-I believe in you, my soul-and know our uniqueness, and know our sameness-and feel our deep connection.