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Faith In Action: Money in the Public Square

Activity time: 0 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Identify a public meeting participants can attend in order to observe.
  • Review Handout 1, Perspectives on the Role and Purpose of Money.
  • Optional: Identify other members of your faith community to invite to attend the meeting with the group and serve as discussion partners.

Description of Activity

Attend a public meeting where a significant local, state, or national program or policy will be discussed. Bring journals and pens, and collect a printed agenda at the meeting. Reflect on these questions during the meeting, making note of your observations:

  • When are issues of money stated explicitly? Who speaks, and what do they say? What economic, sociological and psychological values underlie their claims, positions, or expressions?
  • Where are the issues of money implicitly present? What economic, sociological, and psychological values underlie specific proposals or statements?
  • Is an essential conflict of values present in the discussion? If so, how is it acknowledged during the discussion?
  • Do you see opportunities for more forthright discussion or reconciliation of apparently competing values?
  • Do you believe that money is playing too large or too small a role in the debate? Why?

Gather at another time after the public meeting to share your observations and insights. Consider whether and how the public process could be changed to engage the money issues you identified in a more productive way.

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