Tapestry of Faith: Families: A Jr. High School Youth Program that Explores the Diversity, Commonality, and Meaning of Families

Activity 1: Project Introduction

Part of Families

Activity time: 10 minutes

Description of Activity

Provide an overview of the program. You might say:

"The program that we are starting explores families, photography, and narratives or stories. During the course of the program we will look at our congregation and see the diversity of families that exists right here-even within families that might "look" alike. We will photograph families in our congregation and use the photographs in a photo-documentary project. Ultimately we will create a visual display that showcases the photographs, and then end the project with a culminating celebration!"

Ask participants, "What makes a family?" or "What do you already know about families?" Give participants a moment to ponder these questions. Record their ideas on newsprint. Save the newsprint for use in Session 7, Families Function: Families Work. If there is little response, simply continue to describe the project. Use the script below if it is helpful.

"First we will discuss what a family is, as well as its purpose, and how we can learn more about the concept of family. Next we will learn about photography. We will photograph ourselves, our families, and other families and see how that process relates to Unitarian Universalism. Then we will gather the stories and perspectives of the people we photograph and find a way to represent them well in a visual display. The display might take the form of a gallery display, a PowerPoint or conventional slide show, or a collaborative album. Finally we will have a formal 'opening' in order to share our photo-narrative art with the congregation and lead the congregation to think and know more about families. Throughout this creative process we will work together and have fun."

If you plan to engage participants in choosing the format for the photo-documentary, now is a good time for that discussion. Inform participants of material or monetary constraints that you are aware of and problem-solve the issues with them. Discuss the benefits of each presentation format and develop a plan with the group. Answer any questions that participants have.