Activity time: 25 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Poster of the seven Unitarian Universalist Principles
- Notepads and writing implements
Preparation for Activity
- Display the Seven Principles poster where everyone can see it.
- If you will tour the building as part of this activity, make sure the areas you plan to visit are available when the group meets and accessible for all participants. If needed, plan a good alternative that will work for participants with mobility issues.
Description of Activity
Youth examine their own religious community for members' consistency in living the seven Principles.
Gather the youth around and say, in these words or your own:
Buddhism is a religion of consistency. It propels the seeker's spiritual growth by encouraging attention to all aspects of the person's life. Consistency is important for a community, as well-if our shared values are really important to us, then we want to be sure we're living them.
Review each of the Principles of Unitarian Universalism. For each Principle, discuss briefly its implications for the community-in other words, what would it look like if a congregation truly lived that Principle?
Ask the youth if they think the people in their congregation keep the Principles in mind when they engage in the work of the church. Ask:
- Does our congregation use the Principles as a guideline for making decisions? How? Do we engage in the Buddhist practice of Right Aspiration?
- Is the work of our congregation, in the local community and in the greater world, in accordance with our own UU values? Do we engage in the practice of Right Behavior?
- Do our congregational members acknowledge each other's inherent worth and dignity? Do we encourage each other's spiritual growth, thus engaging in the practice of Right Association? Do we practice Right Speech with each other?
- Does our congregational family give its energy to things that reflect its values? Do we engage in the practice of Right Absorption?
Distribute notepads and writing implements. Invite participants to think of specific examples of the congregation acting according to the Principles.
If it would be helpful and practical, let the group walk through the building. Keeping the Principles in their thoughts, ask them to mindfully look around the church, both for good examples of consistency and instances where perhaps the community could improve its adherence to the Principles. Keep the group together as you move through the building.
Once participants return to the room, invite them to share their observations and discuss what changes could help the church community more consistently live its values. Which could youth offer to do, individually or together, for their community? If there are some actions the youth could take as a group, suggest they choose one. Help the youth offer to serve the community in this way by going through the channels appropriate to your congregation, and then doing it!
Including All Participants
If any areas of your building are not accessible to all participants, either plan to avoid those areas or offer an alternate tour accessible to everyone.