Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: A Place of Wholeness: A Program for Youth Exploring Their Own Unitarian Universalist Faith Journeys

Faith In Action: Your Congregation Speaks Out

Materials for Activity

  • Video camera
  • Digital audio recorder
  • Computer with editing software

Preparation for Activity

  • This activity requires planning. Lay the groundwork by discussing the project with congregational leaders and seeking out the necessary materials before beginning work with the group.

Description of Activity

This Faith in Action expands Activity 2, Faith Statements, to the whole congregation. Youth will collect congregants' elevator speeches and work with congregational leaders to share them with the rest of the congregation as well as the larger community through the Internet. This is an opportunity for youth to practice leadership, to build multigenerational community, and to contribute to the outreach of the congregation.

Begin by describing the project to the group. Tell them that this project involves gathering the elevator speeches and faith statements of members of their congregation and sharing them with both the congregation and the larger community in the form of videos, audio recordings/podcasts, and/or text. Emphasize that this is a chance for them to build community within the congregation, get to know more adults in the congregation, and reach out to those who might want to learn about Unitarian Universalism and their congregation through the elevator speeches they provide on the congregation's website. Explain that there are a few areas of preparation work that will need volunteers:

  • Working with congregational leadership: Bring together the people involved with membership, stewardship, and the website, to explain this project. Ask for their support of the project and their willingness to help make the video and audio recordings available within the congregation and on the congregation's website. Become familiar with the legal permissions required for posting the statements on the website. It is important that this request comes not from the co-leaders of the program, but from the youth in the program.
  • Secure technology: Arrange with your congregation to use video and/or audio technology to record congregants' elevator speeches. If your congregation does not own the necessary technology, reach out to members of the congregation to lend their technology for the project.
  • Recruitment: Ask congregants to share their elevator speeches. This could involve announcements in the weekly order of service or church newsletter, and a table during coffee hour. Offer the option of submitting their written elevator speech, or being video or audio recorded. Have any necessary permission forms available.

Explain that the questions they will ask congregants are, "What is Unitarian Universalism to you?" and "Why are you a member of this congregation?" Ask for volunteers who are willing to do the interviewing. Make sure ahead of time that they know how to use the recording technology. Youth might work in pairs, with one interacting with the congregant while the other handles the recording equipment. They can alternate roles in conducting interviews.

Schedule a gathering, or a series of gatherings, to bring congregants together to be recorded. After collecting the elevator speeches, edit them and put them on the website with the help of the congregational staff and leaders.

Including All Participants

There are many different tasks in this project including technology, logistics, outreach and publicity, and interviewing. Help match participants' interests and skills with the tasks, so that everyone has a role in the project.