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

Alternate Activity 3: Challenge Question

Activity time: 5 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Optional: Newsprint, markers and tape

Preparation for Activity

  • Optional: Write the challenge question on newsprint, and post.

Description of Activity

Challenge questions guide a deeper inquiry for especially thoughtful individuals and groups. For this session, ask:

What is fate?

Let youth share their ideas. If they struggle, offer this explanation: Fate is something that is going to happen anyway, and you cannot do anything about it.

Ask participants to respond to a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, a famous Unitarian who lived in the 1800s:

Intellect annuls fate. So far as a [person] thinks, [they are] free."

Explain that "annuls" means "cancels out."

Was Emerson right? If you think hard enough about what to do, can you cancel out some of the things that most people would say are going to happen anyway? Is just thinking hard enough, or do you then need to do something about your thoughts in order to cancel out fate?

Help the group see that some events are impossible to avoid. Everybody is fated to die, for example. But together and even alone we can do a whole lot to shape the future-in other words, to answer today's Big Question and choose "where we are going."