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

Leader Resource 2: WCUU Script - A UU Panel

To the Anchor:

Today's WCUU broadcast explores UU answers to today's Big Question: "Why do bad things happen?" The script has three parts. In the first, a panel of four UUs share UU responses to the question. In the second, the famous UU Choristers perform a UU song that talks about how people can help each other deal with and avoid bad things. In the third, NUUs Analyst sums up UU ideas about today's Big Question. Your job is to follow the script, read your part, and otherwise keep things going. When the broadcast begins, you and four UU Panelists are sitting on camera, in front of the microphone(s).

[Director: Cue the station break.]

[Director: Cue the Anchor.]

Anchor: This is WCUU, Wisdom of the Community of Unitarian Universalists, on the air.

[Director: Cue the theme music.]

Anchor: Good morning. I am [give your real or stage name], and today we will explore why bad things happen. Here to assist me with UU ideas about that are four expert UU panelists. They are First UU Panelist [give name as First UU Panelist waves or nods to the camera], Second UU Panelist [give name as Second UU Panelist waves or nods to the camera], Third UU Panelist [give name as Third UU Panelist waves or nods to the camera] and Fourth UU Panelist [give name as Fourth UU Panelist waves or nods to the camera]. So good morning to you all, and thanks for being here.

Panelists [together]: Hi.

First UU Panelist: Well, UUs don't just answer a Big Question without thinking. We consider answers they find in different UU Sources. We think about those answers, and consider them some more. Then we each decide what we believe.

Second UU Panelist: I will tell you one thing most UUs do not believe. We do not accept the idea that God causes good things to happen and Satan causes bad things to happen.

Third UU Panelist: Humans are involved with everything that happens, good or bad. You probably know that UUs have a lot of humanist ideas. People have free will, so we must take responsibility for a lot of bad things. Like pollution. People, not God, cause pollution, and people, not God, have to clean it up. The same thing with war. People can create a bad war... or a good peace.

Fourth UU Panelist: If I can jump in here, let me explain, this is called "human agency." Humans are the agents that make things happen, both bad and good.

Anchor: Do you all agree that human agency is important?

Second UU Panelist: I do. Of course, some bad things happen outside human agency. Like natural disasters and really, really bad weather. In those cases, UUs say what is really important is our reactions. Because UUs know everybody in the world is connected, they want to help whenever, wherever bad things happen. UUs try always to help and never to harm.

Third UU Panelist: Of course, some UUs feel the entire world is our community, since we are all connected. But I would like to point out that, like the members of other religious groups, UUs pay attention to the good and bad things that happen to the people in their communities where they live. That is one reason so many congregations have candles of joys and concerns in their worship. Anyone can go to the front of the congregation and name good or bad things that have happened to them or to others. After the service, others can celebrate with them about the good and help them know what they can do about the bad.

First UU Panelist: We don't worry so much about why it happened. We look for what we can do to make it better. What we do about the bad stuff shows our faith in action.

Fourth UU Panelist: Right on, First Panelist. Being a Unitarian Universalist means helping each other deal with the bad things that happen—the huge bad things like hurricanes, and the smaller bad things like anger and thoughtlessness and fear.

Anchor: Funny thing you should mention that, Fourth Panelist. Because we have a special treat for our UU audience today. It's a performance by our world famous UU Choristers of a hymn called "When I Am Frightened." It talks about how we can help each other handle some everyday bad things. Thank you UU Panelists, you have been very helpful. Now bring on the UU Choristers!

[Director: Cue Camera Operator to focus on the UU Choristers. Cue the Anchor and Panelists to join. Cue the UU Choristers to perform "When I Am Frightened." At the end, cue the Anchor to return to their seat. Cue the NUUs Analyst to join the Anchor. Cue the Camera Operator to focus on the Anchor and the NUUs Analyst.]

Anchor: Thank you so much, UU Choristers. Your performance was just plain great! Now we have just enough time for a quick summary from our favorite NUUs Analyst. So what can you tell us today, NUUs Analyst?

NUUs Analyst: Just this: What your UU Panelists said is exactly right. Unitarian Universalists think a lot about human agency and scientific explanations when it comes to why bad things happen. They say that how you react to bad things is just as important as knowing how they happened. That is it, in a nutshell.

Anchor: Wow, NUUs Analyst, that was shorter than usual. Thank you.

NUUs Analyst: That's because I wanted to save time to tell you about all the bad things that have happened to me. Just this morning, my toothpaste fell off my toothbrush and got all over me. Then at breakfast I hiccoughed so loud that...

Anchor: Stop, NUUs Analyst! We don't need to know about your hiccups. What we need to do is get off the air. Let's have some music, please!

[Director: Cue the theme music.]

[Director: Cue the station break.]

[Director: Cue the Anchor.]

Anchor: This is [your real or stage name] signing off for WCUU.