Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Building Bridges: A World Religions Program for 8th-9th Grades


Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Chalice, candle, lighter or LED/battery-operated candle
  • Newsprint, markers, and tape
  • Several copies of the Qur'an in different English translations, and at least one in Arabic
  • Leader Resource 1, Islam Background

Preparation for Activity

  • Read Leader Resource 1, Islam Background so you will be comfortable presenting it.
  • Obtain copies of the Qur'an. A recommended English translation is by Tarif Khalidi, published by Viking Penguin in 2008.
  • Post blank newsprint.

Description of Activity

Answer any questions remaining from the last workshop.

Invite youth to sit in a circle. Light the chalice with these words:

We light this chalice in celebration of Unitarian Universalism and the sustaining faiths of all people of the world. May the flame represent the fire of our commitment to understand all faithful people and build bridges that connect us as one human family.

Invite participants to check in by saying their names and briefly noting how many times a day they think about their faith. Tell them it does not matter whether they consider their faith to be Unitarian Universalism, a different faith, or a combination-this sharing is about how many times a day their personal faith consciously enters their thoughts.

Tell youth that today they explore Islam. Religious Muslims-followers of Islam-pray five times a day.

Share the workshop quote from African American Muslim Ann Holmes Redding:

Living life where you're remembering God intentionally, consciously, just changes everything.

Ask participants to consider how they would feel about taking time out of every day to pray, meditate, or reflect on their religion five times.

Let participants share what they already know and what questions they may have about Islam. Write their questions on newsprint. Tell the group their questions might be answered by activities in this workshop and you will answer any questions you can. Tell them you will seek answers-or invite volunteers to seek answers-to remaining questions before the next meeting.

If youth participated in Welcome and Entering, tell the group that calligraphy and mosaics are two unique art forms from the Arabic world, where Islam is the predominant religion.

Read aloud or share in your own words the information in Leader Resource 1, Islam Background. Use newsprint to write "Islam," "Holy Qur'an," and any other terms you may want to address with the group.

Afterward, allow a few minutes for participants to view the Qur'ans. If you were able to locate one in Arabic, point this out.