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

Faith In Action: Action of the Month

Materials for Activity

  • Computer with Internet connection

Preparation for Activity

  • Go to the website for Bagala Beads. If the meeting space for sessions does not have internet capability, print out relevant pages to share with the group.
  • If the group will be offered the option of pre-selling beads, seek permission from the religious educator, board president, fundraising committee, and any other parties whose permission you might need. Ask for and follow congregational guidelines concerning the selling of merchandise.

Seek support from other adults. Parents of participants would be good choices. Make sure parents give their permission for their children to be involved.

Description of Activity

You can connect any Faith in Action activity to the day’s session by reminding the group of Today’s Big Question: Where are we going? Say that UUs answer that question partly with their actions. When UUs work for economic justice, they are acting out the second UU Principle. When UUs act out this and other Principles, they are helping to shape tomorrow and determine where we are going. This can be done alone, as an individual. However, often it is done communally, as people of faith.

Choose from the following possible activities.

Option 1: Ongoing Faith in Action Project

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

Option 2: Bagala Beads For Sale

Selling Bagala Beads can help contribute to economic justice in a far away place. Visit the website with participants or print out pages to show during the workshop. Point out that Bagala Beads are made from recycled material, so that helps eliminate trash in landfills. The beads are made by women in Uganda and their sale promotes economic independence for these women. All the materials for making beads and baskets are bought locally, so sales help the economy of Uganda, a country in Africa devastated by civil war and a corrupt government. A portion of all profits go to help children in Uganda orphaned by AIDS. Share the “Story” of Bagala Beads.

If participants are interested, they could help sales of the beads in one of three ways. The group could write a piece for the congregation’s newsletter and direct members to the Bagala website or to a local distributor (check the website for retail distributors). If there is no local distributor, participants could urge a nearby fair trade shop to carry the products. Participants could also sell the products directly.

To sell directly, pick a holiday that traditionally involves the buying of presents. The congregation might hold a holiday crafts fair. Valentine’s and Mother’s Day are two other possibilities. Print out photos, prices, and descriptions of several items to sell and conduct a pre-holiday sale. Make sure you account for shipping and handling charges. You will want a few adults to help with this activity, as you’ll need adults to assume fiscal responsibility and help distribute items. Conversely, you could contact Bagala Beads about holding a house party at the congregation.

Whichever tactic is used, follow the action with the following processing questions:

  • Is it important to know where and how the things we used are made?
  • What are fair trade products? Have you ever purchased fair trade products before? What do fair trade products have to do with economic justice?
  • Women make the Bagala Beads. Many studies have shown that families are more effectively lifted out of poverty when women are employed. Why do you think this is true?