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


Activity time: 5 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Chalice, candle, and lighter or LED/battery-operated candle
  • Newsprint, markers, and tape

Preparation for Activity

  • Prepare a few words or phrases to prompt participants' prior knowledge of Evangelical Christianity. Make sure prompts are neutral in tone, and tailored to the group's likely knowledge. Suggestions:
    • If Evangelical Christianity is not prominent in your area, you might prompt with "Jesus." Ask the youth where they have seen or heard a message promoting belief in Jesus as our savior.
    • Say the name of a local faith community you know is Evangelical.
    • Mention evangelical preachers youth may know from television.
    • What symbols of Evangelical Christianity might the youth have seen? If "What Would Jesus Do?" bracelets or tee shirts are popular in your area, you might mention them. Youth may have seen tee shirts, posters, or billboards citing references from Christian scripture, perhaps without the full text. (For example, "John 3:16" is a popular tee shirt in some areas; the biblical text is "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.")
  • Post blank newsprint.

Description of Activity

Invite youth to sit in a circle, bringing their artwork from Welcoming and Entering. Answer questions remaining from the last workshop.

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 youth to check in by saying their names and, if they have artwork, sharing the subject of their artwork, or, if they have none, answering the question, "What makes you so happy you believe others should enjoy it too?"

When all have checked in, invite participants to display their artwork around the room and then return to the circle.

Ask the youth for ideas, events, symbols, or people they associate with Evangelical Christianity. Write contributions on newsprint or have a volunteer do so. Use prompts, if needed. Finish the list by adding the prompt items that youth did not mention.

Post another sheet of newsprint, and invite participants' questions about Evangelical Christianity. Write the questions and tell the youth their questions may be answered in this workshop. Commit to researching remaining questions and bringing answers to the next workshop.