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


Activity time: 5 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Chalice and matches

Description of Activity

Use the Opening designed by your group or the one provided below.

Gather around the chalice. As a volunteer lights the chalice, ask the group to focus on the word "freedom" in silence. After about fifteen seconds, invite participants to speak freely into the space a word or two that they associate with the word "freedom." When everyone who wishes to speak has had a chance to do so, close by saying,

May the space we create here today be wide enough to hold all our individual ideas and deep enough to allow those ideas to grow, to fruit, and to provide seeds for new beginnings.

Introduce today's workshop, saying,

We opened with the word "freedom" today, but there are different types of freedom. There is physical freedom, which you lose if you are imprisoned, caged, and even when you feel unsafe or threatened in your environment. There is also spiritual freedom, which is attained when you feel free to make your own choices in life, unburdened, or enlightened. The workshop is structured differently today: we will look at several poems that illustrate human beings in difficult situations, and we will also look at poems that talk about ways we can survive those hard times. After reading the poems, we will have a writing exercise that allows you to reflect upon the poems and your own ideas about how you can keep your spirit healthy during life's difficult times.