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

Alternate Activity 1: Working for Freedom

Activity time: 30 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers, and tape

Preparation for Activity

  • Write on newsprint and post:
    • What made you decide to act?
    • What concerns or fears did you have about being involved?
    • What moral or religious values called you to be involved?
    • What shining moments can you recall? What setbacks did you encounter?
    • What events, people, or trends in the broader society had an effect on your work?

Description of Activity

Introduce the activity with these or similar words:

Movements in support of liberation and freedom by and for those who have experienced discrimination, oppression, and other violations of their human and civil rights often require a long time to come to fruition. The road to freedom can be rocky, full of pitfalls and, detours, setbacks, and even unexpected successes. No matter how determined a group might be to effect change, every social justice effort is subject to the larger forces of society, including politics, counter-activists, cultural and social trends, epidemics, and wars. This activity invites you to share your own stories of working for freedom or liberation, either as part of a congregational group or as part of a political or social movement.

Invite participants to form groups of three to share their own stories, one at a time, using the posted questions as a guide. Allow 15 minutes for small groups to meet, then re-gather the large group and lead a conversation using these questions:

  • How important was it to you to be part of a group while working for freedom and liberation? Is there a difference between being part of an on-going group, such as a congregation, that works for freedom as part of its mission, and being part of a group formed to work on a particular issue?
  • What kind of cooperation and tension is there between those who are working for freedom and liberation for themselves and their families and those who are working on behalf of others?
  • What observations or comments can you make as a result of your small group sharing about ways in which the larger forces of society influence work for freedom and liberation, either positively or negatively?
  • What difference does it make strategically to be part of a group or community when working for freedom? What difference does it make spiritually?