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

Alternate Activity 1: Engagement

Activity time: 90 minutes

Preparation for Activity

  • If your congregation has a CUUPS (Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans) chapter, contact that group. Tell them about the Building Bridges program and ask if one or more members would be interested in talking to the group and leading them in a Pagan worship service. If you do not have a CUUPS chapter, seek out Pagans in your congregation. As a last resort, inquire of a local group of Pagans.
  • Ask for a presentation on their Pagan beliefs and a sampling of Pagan worship. Express a desire for a question and answer period. Make sure visitors know their presentation/worship must be age-appropriate. With young youth, the use of magic would not be appropriate, though a visitor might wish to discuss how they use magic in their life.

Description of Activity

Participants engage with a Pagan community.

Most of the engagement activities in Building Bridges direct the group to attend a worship service of another faith community. In this activity, the Pagan community comes to the group. See general suggestions on Engagement in the program Introduction, under Implementation.

Introduce the visitor(s). Invite them to give a presentation and conduct a short worship. After worship, open a question and answer session. You might seek a youth volunteer to facilitate this portion. If participants do not, ask the visitor(s) to describe the diversity among people who identify as Pagan and the relationship between Pagan and Neo-Paganism.

Thank the visitor(s).

Talk about the experience afterward, using these questions as starting points:

  • Was there an altar? What was on it?
  • Was any special clothing worn?
  • Was there music and singing?
  • Did you see, smell, taste, or hear anything different from other religious services attended during this program?
  • Was there a sermon or homily? If so, could it have been given in a UU worship service?
  • Was the service interactive? How did you feel about that?
  • Would you say the worship as closer to Wiccan or Neo-Pagan in nature?

Thank the youth for their respectful participation.