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

Activity 1: Being In Touch with God

Activity time: 5 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Dollar bill or other U.S. currency

Description of Activity

This activity asks youth for their thoughts about the motto of the United States: "In God we trust."

Begin with a question like this for the group: "When were you last in touch with God?" In the likely case that you get little or no response, continue on with a comment like this: "I don't know about you, but I seem to be in touch with God every time I put my hands on money. Can you guess what I am talking about?" Accept any answers, and in the course of your discussion produce a dollar bill or other currency and point out the words "In God we trust."

Explain that these words have appeared on at least some forms of American money since 1864. In 1957, Congress and the President passed a law making "In God we trust" the national motto of the United States. It gradually began to appear on more forms of money, and today it appears on all American coins and bills. (For more information about the motto and money, see Find Out More.)

Invite discussion:

What do you think about the motto? What does it mean to say "In God we trust"? What do we trust God to do or to be?

Do you think that all Americans trust in God? What about people who do not believe in God? Does it matter what their money says? What are their choices?

As discussion ends, note that people do not have much choice about what money they use, but they do have a choice about what religion they will join. Unitarian Universalism is one religion that welcomes people with different beliefs about the existence of God.