Tapestry of Faith: Virtue Ethics: An Ethical Development Program for High School Youth

Faith In Action: UU Profiles in Courage

Part of Virtue Ethics

Materials for Activity

  • For gathering interviews: Notepads and pens/pencils, cameras, and/or audio/video recording equipment
  • For presenting interviews: Bulletin board display materials such as writing/drawing paper, construction paper, color markers, and tape/push pins, and/or audio/video playback equipment

Preparation for Activity

  • Plan how you will engage congregational members to share their knowledge of other members' acts of courage, for example, schedule a time when the youth will approach members after worship, at coffee hour.
  • Plan how the youth will conduct interviews. Obtain equipment they will need.
  • Plan how the youth will share the stories they collect. Arrange a bulletin board display, space in your congregational newsletter, and/or a time to present videotaped interviews to a congregational gathering.

Description of Activity

Participants seek courageous individuals from the congregation to highlight.

There are probably individuals in your congregation who have taken courageous stands in their lives: stood up for something or someone, even when they thought their support would not guarantee success or they had to take a personal risk to provide it. Encourage youth to seek the stories of these individuals. Few people will step forward to describe a courageous act they have performed. So here is the twist: Invite the youth to ask congregants to name other people in the congregation who have committed courageous acts. For example, if someone knows a congregational member who was involved in the Civil Rights movement, ask them to help the youth create a Profile in Courage of that individual. Acts do not need to be earth-shattering. If a child heard another child object to a schoolmate saying, "That's so gay!", this courageous act deserves a profile.

Decide as a group where and how you will gather and post UU Profiles in Courage. A simple solution is to post newsprint on a wall in a high traffic area of the building, where everyone will see it and where everyone can reach. Place blank, large-size sticky notes near the newsprint, and post instructions for using a sticky note to add a profile: Include the name of the courageous person and their act. Advertise the UU Profiles in Courage board. Encourage congregational members to visit it and add someone's profile.

Decide what more you can do with the profiles after they are posted, to highlight how these individuals inspire us all to act with courage to help make a better world. Youth might write an article for the congregational newsletter, or invite the contributors and the people who have been profiled to a special "thank you" brunch. If the group has the equipment and skills to do so, videotape interviews with the profiled individuals or construct a worship service around their stories.