Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Amazing Grace: A Program about Exploring Right and Wrong for Grade 6

Faith In Action: UUs and Action

Part of Amazing Grace

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers and tape
  • Any information you have found in response to youth ideas offered during the first session
  • Small pieces of scrap paper
  • Pencils
  • Small pieces of string

Preparation for Activity

  • Collect and bring in any information that may be helpful to the group as it moves forward with the ideas it produced in Session 1.

Description of Activity

If your group decided on a Faith in Action project during Session 1, then follow through with it now in any appropriate way. If not, begin this time with a brief discussion of the term "faith in action."

Ask what the youth think the term means. When they are working on a project to make the world a better place, are they practicing Faith in Action? Is this just a Unitarian Universalist thing to do, or do other religions do the same thing?

During the course of discussion, consider offering ideas like these:

Faith has a lot to do with belief. If you believe something, you have faith in something. If your faith says you should be virtuous and work to make the world a better place, then you can describe what you do as Faith in Action. In other words, you are acting out of your belief, or your faith. As the old saying goes, you are putting "your money (and time) where your mouth is."

Point out that many Unitarian Universalist congregations have social action or social justice committees that practice Faith in Action, and many other religions do similar things. They believe that if the world has troubles like disease and sin and evil, they should do something about it. Their faith tells them to do good work and they have faith that their good work will make the world a better place.

Connect the idea of Faith in Action to the daily wrongdoings identified earlier. Ask if one way sixth graders can practice Faith in Action is to try to stop some of those sixth-grade wrongs.

Pass out slips of scrap paper and pencils. Say the youth should each write down one wrongdoing they are sometimes guilty of committing and would like to stop doing. It could be not keeping promises or secrets; it could be not being inclusive of some youth in their conversations or activities. Remind participants that we all sometimes do the wrong thing: children, youth, and adults. However, we can always try to do better. (It might be helpful for leaders to participate in this activity to demonstrate that having shortcomings is universal.)

Participants do not need to show their papers to anybody, but they should stick it in a pocket or somewhere else where they can find it later.

Give each youth a small piece of string and say they might tie it onto a finger to remind themselves of what they are trying not to do. If they do not want other people asking about the string, they can tie it to a toe or somewhere it is less likely to be seen. Say you will ask at the next session how they have made out, but still you will not ask them to identify the behavior if they do not wish to do so.

Including All Participants

Be sure to make all activities planned by your group as inclusive as possible. All youth should be able to participate.