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

Alternate Activity 1: Engagement - A UU Worship Service

Materials for Activity

  • Resources for planning worship

Preparation for Activity

  • At the start of the program, arrange with the religious educator, minister, and Worship Committee to reserve a slot in the worship calendar (see the Program Introduction and Workshop 1, Leader Reflection and Planning).
  • Decide how much help you will give the youth in planning worship. You may choose to engage an experienced worship leader from the congregation to help plan the service. You might also involve members of the congregation who come from different religious traditions.
  • Arrange for the youth to meet at least once with a minister or lay worship leader who will lead the service with them.
  • Gather resources for planning a service, such as copies of the Unitarian Universalist hymnbooks Singing the Living Tradition and (supplement) Singing the Journey, sacred texts from a variety of world religions, and books of stories from indigenous faiths' oral traditions. Look at the UUA's WorshipWeb online resource; be ready to provide this link to the youth.

Description of Activity

The group coordinates a worship service.

Help the youth prepare ideas for elements to include in the service, such as a story for all ages, a call to prayer or meditation, and songs, readings, and rituals from other religions. Include congregational members who will bring their worship skills, or their knowledge of another religion (such as Hinduism or Judaism).

Choose a topic for a short homily. You might have three or four participants talk about their experiences in Building Bridges. The youth might like to include pieces of everyone's reflections from Activity 4, Bridges Built. Perhaps a few congregants could share about ways the religion of their youth feeds their Unitarian Universalist faith.

Make sure every youth who wants a role has one. Youth who do not want a speaking role can introduce a hymn or lead a round; youth who prefer not to speak at all can select music or readings, greet attendees, light the chalice, or pass offertory baskets.

The Welcome and Entering activity suggests youth write note cards inviting faith communities they engaged in the program to attend the worship service. Make a plan for the youth to greet interfaith guests at the worship service and, afterward, to thank them for coming.

Immediately after the service and time with guests, gather the youth to evaluate the worship experience.