Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Curricula and Resources for Lifespan Faith Development

Faith In Action: Roots and Wings Across Generations

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • For the first option (One-on-One Interviews): Make copies of Handout 1, Roots and Wings Interview Questions, for participants. Arrange for elders in the congregation who are willing to be interviewed to meet with participants to share their experiences and knowledge of congregational and/or Unitarian Universalist history. If your congregation has a safety policy for working with children and youth, consult this when arranging the one-on-one interviews and adapt the activity as appropriate. If your congregation does not have a safety policy, consult the UUA resources on creating and maintaining a safe congregation.
  • For the second option (Congregational Dialogue): Make one copy of Leader Resource 2, Values Quotes and Actions.

Description of Activity

The following activities offer an opportunity for participants to teach and learn about their roots and wings close to home in their own congregation, while also developing intergenerational connections. Participants will interview elder members of the congregation or people who are knowledgeable about congregational and/or Unitarian Universalist history.

One-on-One Interview

This option introduces the spiritual practices of listening and gaining wisdom across generations. If the technology is available, participants may choose to audio or video record their interview rather than write notes.

Distribute Handout 1, Roots and Wings Interview Questions. Explain that participants will have the opportunity to interview an elder in the congregation or someone knowledgeable about their congregation and/or Unitarian Universalism's history about their faith journey's roots and wings. After participants read Handout 1, lead a brainstorm of additional questions based on individual interests.

Distribute paper and pens and help the youth and elders find a comfortable and appropriate space for the interview(s). If they are audio or video recording, they will need a quiet space.

After the interviews, gather the group to share what they learned about their interviewee as well as themselves.

Congregational Dialogue

This option increases the presence, visibility, and contributions of youth in the larger congregation and builds intergenerational connections.

Explain that this activity is an opportunity to teach the congregation about the Unitarian Universalist roots they learned about in this workshop and to invite the congregation to share their own roots and wings stories as part of a larger congregational dialogue. Provide newsprint and markers so that participants can draw a large version of the tree used in Activity 2, Understanding Our Roots. Cut up Leader Resource 2, Values and Actions Quotes and tape them onto the roots. Then hang the tree in a central space in the congregation (perhaps where coffee hour is held). Recruit participants to be available before and after the Sunday service to draw attention to the tree, invite people to contribute their own roots and wings, and initiate informal conversations.

The tree could be displayed for a couple weeks for people to continue to add to it, or it could be brought back to the youth room as a conversation starter.

Participants could also plan a worship service for the whole congregation that engages them in exploring the roots and wings of their own lives and Unitarian Universalism.