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

Activity 1: Queen Isabella

Activity time: 25 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Read the story.
  • Engage two participants (or members or friends of your congegation) to perform the story, and provide each volunteer with a copy of the story well in advance.
    • Invite one person to portray Queen Isabella, the central figure of the story. Consider asking someone skilled in theater performance to play this role.
    • Invite another person to serve as the Narrator who introduces Queen Isabella.
  • Obtain a crown or tiara to use as a prop; or, make a crown from heavy paper and decorate as desired.

Description of Activity

Volunteers present the story, "Their Souls Would Not Be Satisfied."

After the presentation, ask participants whether they had ever before heard the story of the only Unitarian king. Did that story differ from the version they just heard? How? If no participants have heard this story before, tell them this story is often told as the story of King John Sigismund and Francis David, with Isabella presented as a minor character, if at all.

Share this quote from Warren Ross:

History has been defined as a dialogue between an author and his or her sources.

Lead the group to explore these questions:

  • How does the perspective from which we tell our faith stories reveal our unstated assumptions?
  • How can we shift perspective on our faith stories in order to bring us closer to our ideal of tolerance for beliefs and ways of thinking different from our own?