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

Faith In Action: Spiritual Practice Fair

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers and tape
  • Leader Resource 1, Circles of Spirituality, for all participants
  • Multi-colored dot stickers

Preparation for Activity

  • On four different pieces of newsprint, write the name of each of the four internal circles from Leader Resource 1, Circles of Spirituality.
  • Make three copies of the instructions from Activity 3, Circles of Spirituality.
  • Invite the director of religious education, minister or someone else from the congregation familiar with congregants' spiritual practices to come to the first part of this activity.

Description of Activity

Participants bring what they have learned to the rest of their congregation by organizing a spiritual practice fair. This is a great opportunity for participants and church members to be introduced to a variety of spiritual practices.

Invite participants to plan a spiritual practice fair for the congregation. Welcome the director of religious education, minister or other guest you invited to talk about spiritual practices in the congregation.

Ask participants to think back to the spiritual practices they identified in the workshop.

Post the newsprint sheets with the names of the four areas of spirituality. Ask them to think of spiritual practices in each of those areas that they would like to learn about. Remind them that brainstorming is about getting ideas out, so any idea is a good one and they should not discuss or critique ideas at this time. Lead a brainstorm for each of the circles of spirituality.

After they brainstorm practices for each area, give each participant twelve dot stickers. Invite them to vote on which spiritual practices they want to focus on for the spiritual practice fair. Let them know that they can distribute their dots as they would like-clustered in one area, or spread around the different circles. This process should make clear that one or two practices in each circle are their favorites.

The next step is brainstorming people to lead workshops at the fair. The number of workshops will depend on the availability of workshop leaders and the size of your congregation, but aim for two workshops in each of the four areas of spirituality. Focusing on the top two practices in each of the spirituality circles, identify people who could lead workshops on those practices. Remember that workshop leaders also include the youth themselves. The person that you invited to help (DRE or minister) should help generate ideas. The process should generate a list of at least eight people who can lead a workshop on a spiritual practice.

The final step in the planning process is to set a date for the fair and divide into teams to implement the logistics. Consult with church staff about timing. Here is a list of suggested implementation teams:

  • Circle of Spirituality Activity Leaders: The Circles of Spirituality activity would be a good activity for everyone taking part in the fair to experience before they break into different spiritual practice workshops. Two or three youth can work on presenting this activity.
  • Workshop Coordinating Team: This team will recruit the identified workshop presenters and assist in securing the materials they need. This team could also coordinate space for the workshops in consultation with the appropriate church staff or committees. This team should include one or two youth working with one of the adult facilitators of the program.
  • Publicity Team: The last team should be in charge of publicity for the fair. They can make an announcement at services and in the newsletter. They can also make signs and other publicity materials.

Once implementation teams have begun their work, it is just a matter of getting all the tasks done. Youth are perfectly able to plan and implement a fair like this, but it is important that facilitators play a supportive role by keeping track of the tasks, the people responsible for getting them done, and the progress being made. This may be the first time some youth have ever done something like this, but another youth may have planned dozens of events like this and will be able to coach others. The goal is to empower the youth to take charge of the fair as much as possible.