Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Heeding the Call: A Program on Justicemaking for Junior High School Youth

Faith In Action: Learning From The Past

Materials for Activity

  • Clipboards
  • Lined paper and pens

Preparation for Activity

  • If you think participants will have a hard time finding people to interview, identify older congregants willing to participate. Try for diversity in your choices-racial, ethnic, history with Unitarian Universalism, gender identity, sexual orientation, and regional (people not born and raised where the congregation is located).

Description of Activity

Youth interview elders about religious diversity.

Ask participants if they think there is greater religious diversity now than there was twenty-five years ago? What about fifty years ago?

Invite youth to pick a family member, friend, or congregant to interview about religious diversity. The person should be at least twenty-five years older than the youth. Encourage youth to interview diverse people. Brainstorm a list of questions, which might include:

  • Do you think our country is more religiously diverse now than when you were my age?
  • Were your family members religiously diverse? If so, did this fact cause conflict? If it did not cause conflict, why not? How did family members treat members with different religions?
  • When you were my age, did you have friends with different religions?
  • Was your school religiously diverse? Your college?
  • What religions were represented among your friends and co-workers when you were younger? What about now? Is there a difference?
  • Have you ever lost a friendship because of religious intolerance?
  • Can you remember an incident of religious intolerance that affected you personally?
  • Would you say people are more or less religiously tolerant now than when you were my age?

Distribute clipboards, pens and paper for note taking. Tell participants they will be reporting back to the group.

After all the interviews, gather the group to report findings. Did any patterns emerge? Was there agreement about how accepting the country is now compared to the past? Did most interviewees feel the country is more diverse now than then? What was the interviewing experience like?

The group might decide to write a short article for the congregational newsletter about their findings. If so, either keep all quotes anonymous or obtain permission from interviewees to use their words.