Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Riddle and Mystery: A Program on the Big Questions for Grade 6


Being religious means asking passionately the question of the meaning of our existence and being willing to receive answers, even if the answers hurt. — Paul Tillich

Big Question: Where do we come from?

This first session introduces the concept of big questions. Youth explore the importance of big questions to humankind, investigate their first Big Question and learn the purposes and practices of the Riddle and Mystery program.

Two activities introduced here will recur in each subsequent session. WCUU asks youth to simulate a television show exploring Unitarian Universalist responses to the session's Big Question. (WCUU stands for Wisdom of the Community of Unitarian Universalists; you may use KCUU—Knowledge of the Community of Unitarian Universalists—if you are west of the Mississippi River.) WIT Time ("What I Think" Time), elicits personal exploration of the Big Question.

This session allots ten minutes for an Opening, instead of the five minutes suggested in subsequent sessions, and five for the Closing instead of the standard three. Use the time to introduce youth to one another and help them settle into the program. The Opening offers writing a group covenant as a possibility.


This session will:

  • Introduce the concept of big questions
  • Unfold the importance of big questions to humankind and in Unitarian Universalism
  • Present the purposes and practices of the Riddle and Mystery program, including regular WCUU and WIT Time activities
  • Pose the Big Question "Where do we come from?" and explore Unitarian Universalist responses to it
  • Tell a story about where everything comes from.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Understand big questions as universal and important
  • Explore Unitarian Universalist approaches to big questions, using a variety of approaches including song and chant
  • Consider various responses to "Where do we come from?"
  • Learn the purposes and recurring practices of the Riddle and Mystery program
  • Get to know one another
  • Optional: Produce a group covenant.