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

Alternate Activity 1: Finding a Way Forward

Activity time: 30 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Copy Handout 2 for all participants.
  • Meet with your minister, social justice committee chair, or other congregational leader to share knowledge of the work your congregation is currently doing on social or environmental justice issues. Learn the congregation's recent history of social or environmental justice work. Ask to what extent they think it has been influenced by the work of the Unitarian Universalist Association or other Unitarian Universalist congregations. Prepare to briefly share your findings with program participants. Alternatively, delegate this research to one of the workshop participants.

Description of Activity

Present your findings about the congregation's justice work. Invite participants to consider how the congregation's work is connected to the larger Unitarian Universalist history of resistance and transformation:

  • What trends in our history is the congregation continuing?
  • Where has the congregation taken a new turn?
  • What are areas of strength in the congregation's work? Are there gaps?
  • Which of the models of how to approach justice work is/are best represented in your congregation's story?

Allow fifteen minutes for this part of the activity.

Then, post blank newsprint and lead a brainstorming activity using these questions:

  • What are our congregation's gifts when it comes to social or environmental justice work?
  • What gifts do we have to give to the larger community, both as individuals and as a religious institution?

Allow three minutes for this brainstorm.

Now, post new newsprint for a second brainstorming activity. Ask: What are the needs of our surrounding community? Record contributions.

After three minutes, lead a large group discussion asking participants to consider how their congregation's gifts relate to the needs of the surrounding community. Ask the group what it might do to learn if its assessment of community needs is correct. Which community leaders might they talk to?

Finally, ask the group if they are interested in continuing to meet to discuss possible social or environmental justice projects to do together. Distribute Handout 2, Social Justice Resources and set a time to meet again.