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


Part of Virtue Ethics

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers, and tape
  • Chalice, candle, and lighter or LED battery-operated candle
  • Group covenant (Workshop 1)
  • Optional: Bicycle Rack newsprint sheet (Workshop 1)
  • Optional: Alternate Activity 1, Real Life Challenges

Preparation for Activity

  • Read Alternate Activity 1, Real Life Challenges. Prepare to incorporate it into this Opening, if you think you will have time and you observe that youth want to discuss challenges shared in their check-in.
  • Post the chalice lighting words.
  • Post the group covenant.
  • Post the Bicycle Rack sheet the group began in Workshop 1, Opening, or label a new sheet of newsprint "Bicycle Rack," and post.

Description of Activity

Invite a volunteer to light the chalice while you lead the group to recite the chalice lighting words:

The thought manifests as the word

The word manifests as the deed;

The deed develops into habit;

And habit hardens into character;

So watch the thought and its ways with care,

And let it spring from love

Born out of concern for all beings...

As the shadow follows the body,

As we think, so we become.

- from The Dhammapada, Sayings of the Buddha

Invite the youth to check in by sharing any moral challenges they have experienced since the last meeting. If appropriate, use Alternate Activity 1 to further explore the group's challenges. If youth appear interested in discussing a particular challenge but you feel there is not enough time in this meeting, ask the person who shared it to write a short description of the challenge on the Bicycle Rack.

Tell participants that today you will talk about compassion.