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

Activity 1: I Believe, I Feel, I Act - Life as a Mobius Strip

Activity time: 25 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • 11 x 17 pieces of paper
  • Cellophane tape
  • Participants' journals
  • Pens or pencils
  • Leader Resource 1, Mobius Strip

Preparation for Activity

  • Cut each 11 x 17 piece of paper into three long strips that should be about 3 and a half inches wide and 17 inches long. Make sure you have enough strips for all participants.

Description of Activity

Participants review their experience of this program and use the metaphor of a Mobius strip to help identify the wholeness in their lives.

Ask participants to get out their journals. Hand out the strips of paper and pens. Tell them that in this activity, they will look back through their journals and reflect upon their experience in this program.

Remind them that during every session they have spent time thinking about what they believe, how they feel, and how this leads them to act. They have also used the journal to capture other thoughts and ideas throughout the program. Some of those were internal thoughts and some of those were about external ways of being. As they read their journal, ask them to identify five or six of their most significant personal beliefs, feelings or thoughts, and five or six of the most significant actions or ways of being that they named. They should then write short statements that remind them of the beliefs, feelings, and thoughts on one side of the strip of paper and the external acts or ways of being on the other side. Give them 15 minutes to do this.

Give participants cellophane tape to stick to one end of the strip of paper. Then ask them to give the paper a half twist before taping the ends of the strip together. This will produce a Mobius strip. Refer to the image from Leader Resource 1, Mobius Strip, to confirm that it has been made correctly.

After they have each made a Mobius strip ask them to run one finger along the outside of the strip and see how effortlessly their finger moves from the "outside" to the "inside" of the strip. Ask a participant volunteer to read the Parker Palmer quote that you posted for the Welcoming and Entering Activity.

Ask participants:

  • How have your insides helped form or deform your outer world?
  • How have your outsides flowed inward and formed or deformed your life?
  • How has your Unitarian Universalist faith affected this process? Does it make it easier or harder to match your outside and inside? If the answer is harder, how can this group make it easier? How can your Unitarian Universalist community help make it easier?
  • What does this tell us about wholeness?
  • Define the word "integrity". ( defines "integrity" as "adherence to moral and ethical principles", and/or, "the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished.") What does integrity have to do with wholeness? With faith?

Invite youth to reflect for a moment on any actions they would like to take to help the process of integration--aligning one's outside with one's inside. Assure them that they are not expected to be completely integrated right now and at all times.

Parker Palmer wrote:

I do not know who coined the phrase "Every day, in ever way, I am getting better and better," but he or she must have had a great fantasy life. In sixty-five years on earth, my pattern has never been onward and upward. It has always been up and down and back around. I follow the thread of true self faithfully for a while. Then I lose it and find myself back in the dark, where fear drives me to search for the thread once again. —— from A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward An Undivided Life.

This is a life-long process. Like a Mobius strip, it is continuous.