Follow the money. Always follow the money. — from the film All the President’s Men
This workshop considers the many ways money influences our choices and relationships at home and in our congregation. While we sometimes view money as a straightforward medium of exchange, at other times we attach social, relational, or political significance to money or designate certain monies for specific purposes. In the story in this workshop, a child feels pressure to spend designated money on "baubles" and struggles with a choice to spend it differently. Participants learn specific communication practices for healthy money talk and reflect how these practices might contribute positively to family and congregational life.
Because emotional challenges in talking about money can cause discomfort, take the time to read through the workshop carefully and envision how you will facilitate conversations. It is helpful to have some familiarity with systems theory; consider viewing congregational consultant Gil Rendle's talk on Congregations as Emotional Systems (36:52) at UU University 2006 as part of your workshop preparation. In addition, review the Accessibility guidelines in the program Introduction under Integrating All Participants.
This workshop will:
- Invite participants to reflect on the ways money flows through their lives
- Discuss "special money," money we earmark for a particular purpose, and the power inherent in the spending choices we make
- Explore healthy and unhealthy communication around the topic of money
- Engage reflection on the different feelings experienced when we intentionally give money away rather than spending it on ourselves.
- Consider how money flows in and out of their lives in the family setting and in congregations and faith communities
- Brainstorm the choices one can make with money and ways that one creates "special money"
- Practice healthy communication skills to use when talking about money.
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