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

Activity 2: What is Spirituality?

Activity time: 20 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • From Handout 1, What is Spirituality?, write two quotes per piece of newsprint, large enough so that they can be easily seen. Post a couple of pieces of blank newsprint as well.
  • Copies of Handout 1, What is Spirituality?, for all participants.
  • Cut the sheets of multi-colored dot stickers so each participant can have three.

Description of Activity

Participants explore different meanings of spirituality by responding to quotes from around the world.

Start by pointing out that Carolyn McDade experiences spirituality in many different ways. She experiences it through social justice work, through participating in a women's spirituality group, and by writing and performing music. Even in one person's experience, we can see the diverse forms spirituality takes.

Tell participants that they will look at what spirituality means from the perspective of youth around the world. Explain that the quotes posted on newsprint came from a series of focus groups conducted by The Center for Spiritual Development in Childhood and Adolescence. Hand out three dot stickers to each participant.

Distribute Handout 1, What is Spirituality? Participants may read the quotes from the handout or the posted newsprint. Invite participants to take turns reading the quotes aloud. Ask them as they read/listen to the quotes to think about which one resonates with them the most and speaks most clearly to their experience of spirituality.

After all the quotes have been read, invite them to place their dots on the three quotes that are closest to their experience. If none of the quotes seem to fit, they can write what spirituality means to them on a blank sheet of newsprint.

When everyone has placed their stickers next to quotes and/or written their own, read aloud the new quotes written by participants. Read the quotes that received the most dots. Lead a discussion with the following questions:

  • For those of you who put a dot on one of the quotes, what drew you to that quote?
  • For those who wrote something on newsprint, say a little more about what you wrote.
  • What do you think is the difference between spirituality and belief, theology, or philosophy?
  • In what ways do you experience spirituality?

Conclude this activity by telling participants that it is okay if they are having a hard time articulating what it means to be spiritual and what spirituality is. Spirituality is a lifelong developmental process that will change within them as their lives goes on. Participants may find that their understanding of spirituality may also change throughout their lives.