by Meredith Shepherd /
When I served as a leader of the Activity Days we had a unity
activity. Prior to our meeting, we typed up slips of paper and put some
adhesive on the back. Round one had phrases like:
Disagree with my ideas
Treat me like I don't belong
Leave me out of the discussion
Every time I talk change the subject
When I talk, laugh at my ideas
Without letting the girls see their own slip of paper we taped the phrases to
each of their foreheads.
We had them sit in a circle and handed one girl $5,000 in fake money
and told her she was in charge of getting everyone in the group to
help her plan a vacation. She was to take ideas from the group and she
had only 3 minutes to get everyone to reach a consensus. We told the
girls to contribute their opinions but to also follow the instructions on each
Naturally they could not agree and everyone felt dissatisfied. We asked
them to try and guess what was written on their foreheads.
We then repeated the experiment and this time placed kind instructions:
Make me feel included
Ask my opinion
treat me like I am a Child of God
treat me like you want to be treated
Then I gave them the same or even a different scenario. The result was a positive
outcome. I asked them again to guess their label. We discussed how the
first one felt. Then we discussed how different the second experiment
worked. Talked about the labels we place on others.
Introduced the importance of including everyone - of loving each other - and
living Christ's example. I included different scriptures and had the girls
scripture chase and mark them (maybe the label of Samaritan, in Christ's time it
was bad and people walked out of their way to avoid going through Samaria... but
now we associate it with someone who does good) I am a firm believer that we
should teach from the scriptures as often as possible.
We talked about unity and the girls opened up about experiences at school and
how church should be a safe place where you can be yourself and be accepted.