Activity 2: Story - Antoinette Brown and Olympia Brown
Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Copy of the story, "Antoinette Brown and Olympia Brown"
- Optional: Fidget basket (see Session 1, Leader Resource 2, Fidget Objects)
Preparation for Activity
- Read the story so you will be comfortable telling it.
- Optional: If you have a basket of fidget objects for children who will listen and learn more effectively with something in their hands, make the basket available during storytelling. See Session 1, Leader Resource 2, Fidget Objects for a full description of fidget baskets and guidance for using them.
Description of Activity
Say that to recognize our deep connections to and dependence on one another is a sign of our UU faith. Remind the group that our seventh Principle says we respect the interdependent web of life to which we each belong-all life, which means all people. Say in these words, or your own:
As UUs, we believe we must support each other in our faithful journeys through life. We are going to hear a story about two UUs doing just that.
Read or tell the story. Process the story with these questions:
- Who supported Antoinette in her goal to become a minister?
- How did Antoinette support Olympia? Why do you think this was important to Olympia? Why was it important to Antoinette?
- Antoinette and Olympia had the courage to keep going on their faith journeys, even when it was hard. What do you helped them stay strong? Do you think your faith can help you stay strong and committed, even when it is hard? Does the support of other people help, too?
Ask participants to name some signs of one's UU faith you have discussed in previous sessions [being a leader, supporting one another on our faith journeys, seeking answers to big questions, cherishing life, honoring our lives at death, sharing, caring, supporting community, being welcoming, worshipping together, taking care of our faith home, embracing uniqueness, making decisions as a group, doing public witness].
Ask them which signs of faith take courage. Prompt with examples: It can take courage...
- to speak up against injustice
- to talk with others about someone you loved who has died
- to be the one to include somebody who is new, or has a special need because they are using a wheelchair or cannot hear or cannot see.
Invite participants to share a time when they ran into an obstacle-when it was hard to live out a sign of their faith.
It takes courage to live your faith every day. When you have that kind of courage, that is a sign that you are a faithful leader. We honor Olympia Brown and Antoinette Brown as our UU ancestors because their courage to live their faith helped to make the world better. Today, our religion has more women ministers than men ministers. With most religions in the United States, it is the opposite.
Including All Participants
You may wish to make fidget objects available to children who find it difficult to sit still while listening or can focus better with sensory stimulation. For a full description and guidance, see Session 1, Leader Resource 2.
Consider using rug squares in the storytelling area. Place them in a semi-circle with the rule "One person per square." This can be very helpful for controlling active bodies.