Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Faith Like a River: A Program on Unitarian Universalist History for Adults

Activity 1: From Why? to Why Not?

Activity time: 25 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • A copy of the story, "From Why? to Why Not?"
  • Modeling dough in two primary colors (red and yellow, or yellow and blue, or red and blue)
  • Two bowls, one for each color of modeling dough

Preparation for Activity

  • Read the story "From Why? to Why Not?" and prepare to present it.
  • Divide the modeling dough into small pieces so each participant will have one of each color. Place the pieces in the two bowls.
  • Optional: Review Alternate Activity 1, Sleepless in Syracuse, and decide whether you will use it to extend this topic.

Description of Activity

Read or tell the story "From Why? to Why Not?" which tells of the consolidation of the Unitarian and Universalist faith traditions.

Invite participants to reflect silently on the changes each tradition had to make in order to join together. Lead a brief discussion: What were the losses? What were the gains?

After a few minutes, distribute the bowls of modeling dough and ask participants to select one piece of each color. Explain that one color represents Unitarianism and the other Universalism. Invite participants to use both colors to create a representation of Unitarian Universalism at the time of consolidation. Suggest they might keep the colors completely separate, somewhat blended, or completely blended; their representation can be expressive and abstract, or representational and recognizable.

After ten minutes, invite participants to share their creations with one another in groups of three.


If you have sufficient time, interest, and materials, invite participants to return to this activity at the end of this workshop. Instead of a representation of Unitarian Universalism at the time of consolidation, ask them to create a representation of Unitarian Universalism today.

Including All Participants

Encourage participants who do not consider themselves artistic by reminding that they may make an abstract expression.