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

Alternate Activity 3: Spiritualism

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers, and tape
  • Leader Resource 6, Spiritualism

Preparation for Activity

  • Print out Leader Resource 6, Spiritualism and familiarize yourself with its contents.
  • On a sheet of newsprint draw a continuum-a horizontal line with "Cessation" at one end and "Continuation" at the other.

Description of Activity

Present the information in Leader Resource 6, Spiritualism.

Post the continuum you have drawn on newsprint. Say, in your own words:

Throughout Unitarian and Universalist history, people have held a variety of ideas about an afterlife. These ideas have ranged from full cessation of the human personality at death to the full continuation of distinct personality after death. These have included concepts of rebirth, separate realms for eternal spirits, spirits dwelling among the living and more.

Ask participants to consider the benefits or struggles the spiritualists faced from their beliefs about life after death. Then, ask them to locate themselves on the continuum of beliefs. Reminding participants to maintain an atmosphere accepting of all people's beliefs, invite them into conversation on how their beliefs interplay with or differ from those of the spiritualists. Keep the discussion focused, and allow time for your own concluding remarks.