Ok, I’m short on time but here’s the gist. I’m a UU, which has a strong emphisis on humanism, and I’ve convinced my church to do a service on FIRST Robotics. The Order of Service for those curious:
Come, learn more about this exiting new high school program with a humanist message of challenging lives, change the world and building a better tomorrow.
Challace Lighting/ Responsive Reading: (652) The Great End in Religious Instruction
Joys & Sorrows
Hymn: (652) We Laugh, We Cry
Reading: (Blank, need Help!)
Hymn: (118) This Little Light of Mine
Opening Video of 2004 FIRST Season
Sermon: FIRST Find Inspiration
Hymn: (1024) Do When the Spirit Says Do
But I need help! I can’t find a short reading, maybe three paragraphs. I would like it to be on ether education, mentorship, or Gracious Professionalsim, but as long as its Inspirational and some what Humanist (think Star Trek) then please post it here.
Yeah, I know its weird but I really think this will work. Also if anyone is curious we are video taping it, so I can see about making copies. Wish me Luck!
Are you doing the reading? Since FIRST isn’t terribly mainstream I would read the Mission/Vision statement off of FIRSTs website, then give a brief explanation of how the build/comp season works. At this point I would add in a brief anecdote of competing teams helping each other. Then close with a paragraph about the Chairman’s award and although it is a competition the highest award has little to do with the robots, but more to do with the community and cultural impact of the team.
While this sounds like a lot, if you keep the material concise this would be about a 5-7 minute reading.
Dr. Woodie Flowers, FIRST National Advisor and Pappalardo Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, coined the term “Gracious Professionalism.”
Gracious Professionalism is part of the ethos of FIRST. It’s a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.
With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process. They avoid treating anyone like losers. No chest thumping tough talk, but no sticky-sweet platitudes either. Knowledge, competition, and empathy are comfortably blended.
In the long run, Gracious Professionalism is part of pursuing a meaningful life. One can add to society and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing one has acted with integrity and sensitivity.
I would replace “competing like crazy” with something else? “Competing with intense enthusiasm” perhaps. This is a nice way of spreading the message of FIRST in your community by the way. And since CD is (or should be) always open to new ideas I doubt and hope you don’t get negative feedback on this.
This is a common misconception about these forums. CD is a place to talk about Robotics and STEM. Yes there are alot of other things that happen and get talked about but religion is not one of them. As of now I agree with Steve that this can be just considered a new way to spread the message of FIRST. At the same time it is walking a fine line of what is appropriate.
In my opinion, this isn’t, and shouldn’t be, a discussion on his religion. Its just another place to talk about FIRST. Its just like talking at a school, or going on the news, or talking to a government official. Its talking to a group of people, and as long as the conversation is on what to say to them about FIRST and about STEM then I think that we should welcome that conversation. Our country and world is religious in many cases, and even though we shouldn’t be involved in religion, we should use any and all forums to promote the ideals and values of FIRST.
For what it’s worth are team name (R.O.B.O.t.I.C.S.) stands for Reaching Out and Building Others In Christ’s Service. The cross is always well seen on or robot. We like to compete and play hard but at the end of each day are main goal is to serve Christ the best we can. Doesn’t mean we do it right, it just means we try. First has given us the chance to meet others and pray for others all over the world.
I urge caution here once again, not to allow this thread to drift into a religious discussion. In the past we have gone off on topics such as holding prayer groups at a competition. Let’s keep the posts to the OP’s questions, please.
Not that anything has been done wrong here yet - Team 107 is sponsored by a parochial school, and thus has a different image than many other teams. They are free to express their views (such as by placing a cross on their robot or in their pit).
I think it is appropriate to point out how FIRST has unintentionally promoted respect and understanding of different religions through its message of GP. We saw this at the Championship, when several teams volunteered to help drive robots of the orthodox Jewish teams from Israel on Saturday. In Israel, FIRST teams from Jewish, Muslim and Druze communities work together; this is one reason why President Peres feels FIRST is so important in Israel.
In sum, FIRST shows students much they share in common with each other. A worthy function, I believe.
Very good point. Religion plays no part and has no significance in FIRST, so working with or against members or teams that are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, or any other religion isn’t an issue.
FIRST isn’t about tolerating other religions. FIRST is about accepting everyone, and realizing that their personal beliefs are unimportant towards how we can work together with them, and how we can spread FIRST together.
Everyone please keep this thread on topic. If you have a quote or helpful link for Jeff please post it. That is the intent of this thread, lets keep it at that.
Jeff, you may take a look in the whitepapers section here on CD, many users have posted their chairman’s award submission as well as other papers that you should be able to get some good quotes out of. Good luck with all of this, I always love to hear about new and unique ways that the messages of FIRST are being spread to new communities, the more people that learn about FIRST the great an impact it can have!
First off, I want to say thank you for all the suggestions. The service went magnificantly and I feel I did a good job of inspiring people. However, in light of recent events (namely the shootings Knoxville Tenessess) I instead choose as a reading our Principles and Purposes since in times like this one’s faith can be a powerful source of incouragement. As a faith and as a people, two fatalites and seven injured by a crazed gunman in the name of “gays and liberal religion” really hit us hard. This actually hit me doublely so since two FIRST Robotics students also died my freshman year at Clarkson and my brain likes to make connections like that.
As for the rest of the discussion, it’s amazing how well FIRST lines up in to that of Unitarian Universalism. Also I would like to point out, just because someone is a Humanist (which has a strong foundation in Science and Technology) does not make them nonreligous. We of course should invite other faiths and their people to take part, but FIRST in of itself clearly should not try to be one of those bodies. To paraphrase Lord Badden Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts: FIRST should be composed of those things core to religion (namely our values), but not be a religion in of itself.