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Introduction

Introduction
Introduction

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.  — Harriet Tubman (c. 1820-1913), abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor

...[E]ach of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total; of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.  — Robert F. Kennedy

A small number of people in every generation are forerunners, in thought, action, spirit, who swerve past the barriers of greed and power to hold a torch high for the rest of us. Lappé is one of those.  — Howard Zinn (1922-2010), in a tribute to Frances Moore Lappé, author of the groundbreaking 1971 bestseller, Diet for a Small Planet

This session is about those miraculous shifts from fear to openness, injustice to fairness, and isolation to collaboration that a group can experience when passionate individuals focus their love, faith, and determination to transform the community.

Participants hear and enact the Christian story of Jesus feeding thousands with just a few loaves and two fish. While mainstream Christianity presents this story as one of Jesus’s miracles, a liberal interpretation resonates for many Unitarian Universalists: Jesus’s inspiration led the people to create their own abundance by sharing. Participants imagine transformations that would help the communities to which they belong, including the entire global community. They observe the ripple effect in water, then consider how individuals can fuel a community’s miraculous change.

In a wide age span or multigenerational group, remember to facilitate sharing and participation for the benefit of all. Affirm younger participants’ contributions. Keep in mind, a participant of any age who seems reluctant to speak may need more encouragement than others to find their voice.

Goals

This session will:

  • Cultivate experiences of wonder and awe
  • Introduce the story of Jesus and the loaves and fishes for consideration as a story of miraculous community transformation
  • Encourage participants to ground Unitarian Universalist identity in a sense of responsibility to, and a belief in one’s capacity to, change the world
  • Offer the ripple effect in water as a metaphor for the transformative effect an individual can have on the wider community.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Explore what they believe constitutes a “miracle” as they share experiences of “miracle moments”
  • Feel empowered as agents for change through the metaphor of the ripple effect in water
  • Identify community and global situations that “need a miracle” and explore how individual action, grounded in love, could create the needed transformation.

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.

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