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

Activity 3: WCUU - A UU Panel

Activity time: 20 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Microphone(s), video camera(s) and tripod(s), real or simulated
  • For studio set
    • Backdrop made in Session 1
    • Painter's tape or masking tape
  • Leader Resource 2, WCUU Script - A UU Panel
  • A copy of Singing the Journey: A Supplement to Singing the Living Tradition. (Boston: Unitarian Universalist Association, 2005)
  • Paper for On-Air People's name cards, markers and string or tape
  • Timepiece (minutes)
  • A copy of the Unitarian Universalist Principles and Sources
  • Optional: Music player for theme song (see Session 1)
  • Optional: Studio lights (flashlights will do)

Preparation for Activity

  • If necessary, arrange furniture, set up and test equipment and post backdrop. If you plan to record WCUU:
    • Make sure electrical outlets are nearby if you will need them.
    • Attend to lighting: Do not set On-Air People in front of a sunlit window.
    • If you are using on-camera microphones, direct On-Air People to speak toward the camera. Invite the Director or Floor Director to use the phrase "Quiet on the Set... Rolling... " followed by a silent countdown from five, using the fingers of one hand, ending with pointing to the On-Air Person to cue them to begin speaking.
  • Copy Leader Resource 2 for everyone who will need a script: an Anchor, a NUUs (pronounced "News") Analyst and four UU Panelists. If the group is small, co-leaders can be Studio Crew; if the group is large, the Studio Crew might include a director, floor director, camera operator, sound engineer, lighting director, script supervisor and multiple production assistants.
  • For UU Choristers. Review "When I Am Frightened," Hymn 1012 in Singing the Journey. Decide how you wish the UU Choristers to present it. You may want a musical person to teach it to you and the Choristers. Or, the Choristers could speak the words, while individuals or small groups act out lines. The purpose of using this song is to help the youth consider the words while having some fun.

Description of Activity

Participants present a WCUU broadcast involving six On-Air People-an Anchor, a NUUs Analyst and four UU Panelists-and as many UU Choristers as you want to perform a hymn.

The Studio Crew might include a director, a floor director, a camera operator, a sound engineer, a lighting director, a script supervisor and multiple production assistants.

This broadcast has three segments. The first has the Anchor and four UU Panelists chatting on camera, the second features the UU Choristers and the third has the Anchor and the NUUs Analyst. Assign roles, using volunteers for On-Air People and Studio Crew. You might invite the Kid for the Day to be the Anchor. The Choristers can include everyone except the Studio Crew needed to record the show. The Anchor and the four UU Panelists can easily join the Choristers.

Prepare the UU Choristers to present the song "When I Am Frightened," Hymn 1012 in Singing the Journey, in the second segment.

Give participants who need to follow the script a moment to look it over. Review it with them if you have participants with limited reading skills.

Tell the group when the show should end to keep the session on schedule; assign a Studio Crew member (director or floor director) to watch the time.

Begin the broadcast.

At the end of the broadcast, ask participants how it went. Ask them to summarize how typical Unitarian Universalists respond to today's Big Question: "Why do bad things happen?" Do they think non-UUs would understand Unitarian Universalism better after seeing this WCUU show?

Lead a discussion about the words of the hymn, using these questions:

  • What bad thing is happening to the singer of the song? What is going wrong? (The person is frightened, angry, lonely and troubled; the song does not say why.)
  • Who do you think the singer is talking to? A friend? A parent? God? Anybody who is listening?
  • What is the singer asking the listener to do? ("Be strong for me," "believe in me," "be there for me." You might say the singer is asking mostly for a friend, a good strong friend. Sometimes that is all you need to help bad things get better or to put your faith in action-just be somebody's friend.)

Relate the hymn to the story of Job: Though we cannot control everything that happens to us, we can control our responses when bad things happen to us and to others.