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

Activity 2: Story - Reflections by Forrest Church

Activity time: 7 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Review and print out the story.

Description of Activity

Invite the youth to hear reflections from a Unitarian Universalist minister who faced a terminal cancer diagnosis. Read or tell the story. Then invite reactions:

  • Is it okay to disagree with Forrest Church, even though he is a well-known Unitarian Universalist minister? (Of course. In our faith, it is expected that we may have different ideas about many things.)
  • If we know that death is natural and that everybody dies, why do we grieve when people die? (We miss the people who have died, even though we know that death is natural and comes to all living things. The death of somebody close can leave a big hole in our lives. It takes time for that hole to close. One thing that helps fill it is the love left behind by the person who has died.)
  • What if you know that Forrest Church does not believe in heaven with angels and clouds, but you do? Is that dumb? (No. Your religious ideas are never dumb. Nobody can be sure whose beliefs about death are right. Many people believe in an idea of heaven with angels, harps and clouds. They take comfort from that image of heaven and their belief that their loved ones go there at death, and they themselves will eventually join them.)