Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Newsprint, markers and tape
- Handout 2, Unitarian Universalist Sources, and pencils, for all participants
Preparation for Activity
- Print and copy handout for all participants.
- Post a sheet of blank newsprint to record notes from each small group you will form.
- Be ready to help small groups with examples that help illustrate each Source, for example, "The Golden Rule" for Jewish and Christian teachings, respect for the environment from Earth-based religions, etc.
Description of Activity
Ask the group what "sources" are, as you distribute handouts and pencils. Affirm that a source is "someplace you can get something you need." Tell the group:
Now we are going to look at our Unitarian Universalist Sources. These are places where we look for what we need in faith-answers to our religious questions and guidance about how to live our lives.
Form small groups of three to five participants. With six small groups, assign each group a Source to discuss. With four groups, you might assign direct experience (first Source), words and deeds (second), wisdom (third) and teachings (fourth, fifth and sixth). If the entire group is too small for four small groups, work as one group to consider direct experience, words and deeds, and "teachings and wisdom."
Invite participants in small groups, to apply these questions to their Source:
- What does this Source mean? What are some examples of it?
- What happens in our congregation that seems connected to this Source? Think about our worship, religious school, social justice activities, holiday and holy day celebrations, special events.
- Is the Source missing in our congregation? What would you like to learn more about or see more of, related to this Source?
- Can you think of a way this Source is connected to any beliefs you or others shared during this session? (For example, does your belief about God come from a Christian or Jewish bible story? from the statements of someone prophetic, either ancient or contemporary? from a folk tale from another world religion your parents or grandparents may have told you?)
Watch the time. Save two or three minutes for small groups to share some of their discussion. Use the newsprint to record examples of the Source to help the entire group learn the meanings of all the Sources-for example, under "direct experience" you may note "watching sunset," "singing in church," "helping homeless person," "waking from a powerful dream," etc.
To conclude, point out that people may hold different beliefs, learn from different faith traditions, and look to different Sources for truth, and still remain in the same Unitarian Universalist congregation. Say:
In our religion, we do share many beliefs. We believe in the inherent worth and dignity of everyone. We believe that everyone is free and responsible to search for truth and meaning, and we believe in following our own individual conscience to make our faith choices. And, we believe our members' different faith paths enrich the faith of the whole congregation.