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

Activity 4: Love as Action

Activity time: 20 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Enough newsprint or paper on a roll to make an approximately 6 by 6 foot piece of paper
  • Pencils, markers and crayons
  • Tape

Preparation for Activity

  • Unroll a piece of paper 6 feet long or tape multiple pieces of newsprint together to make an approximately 6ft by 6ft single piece of paper. Either leave it on the floor or tape it to the wall. On the paper, draw a simple line drawing of what the front of your church looks like. It does not have to be perfect, just a rough outline will do. It should take up at least half the paper.

Description of Activity

Participants graphically depict how a theology of love is, and can be, lived out in their congregation.

Start by summarizing what you have done so far in the workshop. Participants talked about how love feels and looked at the historical roots of a Unitarian Universalist theology of love. They looked at biblical text and the writing of past Universalists and Unitarians and connected those writings to important contemporary Unitarian Universalist texts. They listened to a story about a group of Unitarian Universalist youth who demonstrated a theology of love in their actions.

Tell them that they will now look at the actions of their church and their own actions to see how this theology of love is, and can be, lived out in their lives.

Show the big piece of paper you have prepared with the picture of your congregation. Ask them to spend the next five minutes working together to draw all the things the congregation does inside the church and out in the community that demonstrate a theology of love. Tell them that they can use pictures, symbols or words to describe these things.

After five minutes, ask participants to focus on those things that the congregation could be doing, whether an expansion of something that is ongoing or a whole new project. After another five minutes, ask them to draw themselves into the picture. They can draw themselves doing something that they already do that is related to a theology of love, or they can draw something that they could do. Give them about five minutes.

After the picture is completed ask everyone to sit back and look at the group's work. Invite each participant to briefly describe one of the pictures they drew of themselves. Ask if anyone learned something new about their congregation. Point out the actions that youth and/or the congregation could be doing. Might one or more of these activities make a good Faith in Action? Did anyone draw or write about the congregation giving service to the community? Discuss if there is a difference between serving the community out of love versus serving out of obligation. What are some of the feelings associated with these two approaches? Can you turn feelings of obligations into feelings of agape love? How?