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

Activity 3: The Transcendentalists

Activity time: 20 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Print out Leader Resource 3, Transcendentalism, and familiarize yourself with its contents.
  • Print out Leader Resource 4, Words of the Transcendentalists. Cut the quotations apart and place all the strips in the basket or bowl.

Description of Activity

Read or present the information in Leader Resource 3, Transcendentalism. Then, pass around the basket of quotes, inviting participants to select one quote when the basket comes to them. Ask participants to read their quotes silently. Pass the basket a second time, and invite participants, if they wish, to return the quote and choose another. Explain that they need not agree with the quote in order to keep it. If the group is small, invite participants to choose more than one slip of paper.

Once everyone has selected a quote, invite participants to read their quote aloud or request that a volunteer read it. After all the quotes have been read, invite comments and discussion, using these questions as a guide:

  • Which of the quotes speaks to you?
  • Which ones seem frozen in time?
  • Where do you hear echoes of the Transcendentalists in contemporary Unitarian Universalism?