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

Welcoming and Entering for The 1800s: Five New Religions

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Copy Handout 1 for all participants.
  • Make several copies of Leader Resource 1, If You Believed, and place them on the welcoming table.
  • Write on newsprint, "If You Believed ..." and post it in the welcoming area.

Description of Activity

Participants follow a line of reasoning related to today's religions.

As participants enter, welcome them and offer writing implements and Handout 1, Then What Would You Do or Believe? Invite them to consult Leader Resource 1, If You Believed, on the welcoming table and answer the questions on their handouts. They are welcome to compare answers and discuss them with others. Tell them:

This is not an opportunity to criticize the beliefs of others. This is an exercise posing the question, if you believed something, then what would logically follow? We do not always know why people believe what they do, but what they believe is important to them, and has logic for them. This is an exercise in understanding someone else's perspective.

Encourage discussion among participants. Set a respectful tone. A few minutes before the workshop begins, ask participants if they know any religion that holds all these beliefs. If someone knows, affirm their answer; otherwise, share with the youth that Jehovah's Witnesses hold all the beliefs stated here. Witnesses, as they are commonly called, do not celebrate Christmas, Easter, or birthdays, but this is not a punishment or sacrifice; it reflects their understanding of scripture and is an expression of their faith. Share that Jehovah's Witnesses is one of the faiths that emerged in the period we will explore today.