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

Faith In Action: Connecting the Congregation with Our Multi-Religious World

Materials for Activity

  • A list of potential partners for interfaith work in your area

Preparation for Activity

  • Research local interfaith groups that could provide a presenter for your congregation. Your minister, a member of your Social Justice Committee, or a congregant who is also involved with another faith community may know of existing interfaith efforts. If there are multiple options, make a list and copy it for all participants.
  • Research potential partners in your area for an interfaith dialogue or a joint service project. These might include other faith communities that have active youth groups or a faith community you have engaged as part of this program. If there are many possibilities, make a list, and copy it for all participants.
  • Prepare to support the youth if they express interest in interfaith work. If you or your co-facilitators cannot continue with the group, engage your religious educator to take a role or help identify other congregational adults who can. Building Bridges can segue nicely into the Tapestry of Faith program A Chorus of Faiths, developed with the Interfaith Youth Core to engage Unitarian Universalist youth (high school age) as interfaith leaders.

Description of Activity

Youth act as bridge-builders by planning an interfaith presentation or project. Invite the youth to share their religious understandings with others in the congregation. Suggest they can begin building bridges by creating an interfaith experience for their congregation. As appropriate, offer the options of (a) planning a presentation by an interfaith organization and/or (b) seeking an interfaith dialogue or service project to join or start in your community.

Distribute the list you have made of potential presenters and/or partners. See if any youth can add to the list.

Planning a Presentation

Invite participants to take roles in planning an event at your congregation where a representative from one or more groups will discuss their interfaith work. Youth can contact potential guest speakers, publicize the event, set up the space, introduce speakers, facilitate questions and answers, and, of course, thank the speakers.

Planning an Interfaith Project

Have youth and co-facilitators agree who will contact potential partners to explore opportunities for young people to get involved in interfaith work. Plan how you will communicate these opportunities to the youth who are interested; it may be wise to set a date and time for a follow-up meeting.