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

Alternate Activity 4: The Racovian Catechism

Activity time: 45 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Copy Handout 3, The Racovian Catechism for all participants.
  • Print out Leader Resource 3. Familiarize yourself with the Racovian Catechism so you can present the material.
  • Prearrange for volunteers to read aloud from Handout 3, The Racovian Catechism. Assign the preface excerpt, the questions in the catechism, and the answers (perhaps one paragraph at a time). If possible, give volunteers the handout before this workshop.
  • List these questions on newsprint, and set aside:
    • Does Christianity as described in the Catechism appear to be non-creedal to you?
    • Do you find the certainty of a catechism to be mostly challenging or in some way also comforting?

Description of Activity

Invite participants to form pairs and each take three minutes to share with the other any previous experiences they have had with catechisms or other methods of teaching religious creeds.

Then, regather the group and invite general reflections.

Give the context of the Racovian Catechism by reading or summarizing Leader Resource 3, The Racovian Catechism. Then, distribute Handout 3, The Racovian Catechism and invite a volunteer to read aloud the excerpt from the preface.

Ask participants to compare their experiences with catechisms or creeds with the intentions of these authors. Are they the same? Different? How?

Continue reading from the catechism. You might have a volunteer pose all the questions, then have other volunteers take turns reading the responses.

Allow pauses for questions and conversation.

Finally, post the newsprint with questions you have prepared. Invite general conversation in response to these questions.