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

Faith In Action: Soul Messages

Materials for Activity

  • Unlined paper, cut into strips 1/2"x4"
  • Bright pens

Preparation for Activity

  • Decide how youth can distribute cheerful soul messages to the congregation or other groups; arrange with other adults as needed.
  • If you like the idea of inserting the messages into traditional restaurant fortune cookies to distribute, find a recipe on these Chinese food pages or on a site called Fancy Fortune Cookies. Note: Forming the cookies requires wearing gloves and rolling up dough that is still hot from the oven. Sixth graders will need adult assistance and close supervision. You can also purchase fortune cookies and insert your own messages. Find cookies locally or order from e-fortunecookie.

Description of Activity

If the group has chosen an ongoing Faith in Action project, continue work on it.

Or, do this short-term Faith in Action activity:

Making and Distributing Soul Messages. Ask if the group has ever heard somebody described as "soul weary." Say, if participants do not, that somebody who is soul weary is tired to the very core of themselves, as the term suggests. Ask what we can do for people who are soul weary. Affirm that one response could be to try to cheer the people up. While people who are deeply, truly exhausted may need rest more than anything else, people do appreciate kind and cheerful messages. Suggest youth give the soul weary a lift, and at the same time build awareness of the need for economic justice, by making and distributing message slips like those found in restaurant fortune cookies. On one side can be a cheerful greeting and on the other brief words about economic justice.

The group may like to distribute the messages inside traditional restaurant fortune cookies. The cookies can make it fun, and tasty, to distribute the messages distribution at a congregational event such as a coffee hour. You can also, of course, wrap the messages in another tasty treat.

Ask youth to create brief, cheerful messages they can write small enough to fit on a slip of paper the size you have provided (to insert in a cookie, if you are using cookies). You might suggest they write a greeting on one side and a justice message on the other. Youth will probably have little difficulty coming up with cheerful greeting messages. If they struggle with wording about economic justice, you might suggest these possibilities: Good fortune is economic justice. Good fortune is to share. Good fortune is for U and U and all of us. Good fortune is a UU goal for all.

Invite the youth to create messages individually, in pairs or in small groups- (but watch carefully to make sure no youth feel left out of the groups). Allow five or ten minutes for the creation. Then ask youth to share what they have done. Collect the messages until it is time for the group to pass them out.

Be sure that everybody who wants to will be involved in the distribution.

Including All Participants

Check with your religious educator to make sure no children or youth in the program have an allergy or food restriction that precludes their eating of the cookies you plan to distribute.

If the youth will make cookies, make sure the work spaces and supplies are accessible to all. Assign individuals tasks they can manage safely and successfully.