Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Exploring Our Values Through Poetry: A Program for High School Youth


To be tested is good.

— Gail Sheehy

As adults, many of us have questioned the purpose of our lives and whether we have a mission or a clear path in them. Youth are just beginning to engage in questions of this nature. Discussion of this workshop's poem, called "Perhaps," will help youth understand how it feels to be irresistibly drawn to an action—even though the action's outcome is uncertain. Activities that ask youth to identify what might be their own missions in life will have different levels of success, depending on the maturity of the youth involved. Even if participants are not able to define their own missions, these activities are valuable starting points for helping youth define a greater purpose in their lives.


This workshop will:

  • Use poetry to reflect upon having a mission in life
  • Invite participants to ponder how we have come to think about our mission, our journey, our path
  • Inspire participants to create poems that reflect their personal experiences and individual missions
  • Optional: Engage participants in writing an interfaith prayer

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Identify possible missions—things they feel compelled to do—in their lives
  • Examine how pivotal events in their lives may have helped shape what they see as their mission in life
  • Shape personal experiences and a sense of purpose into poetry
  • Optional: Explore how interfaith prayers can be crafted to be inclusive of many faith traditions