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Activity 1: The Flow of Money (10 minutes), Workshop 4: The Many Meanings of Money

In "The Wi$dom Path: Money, Spirit, and Life," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers, and tape

Preparation for Activity

  • Prepare and post two sheets of newsprint, each with two columns marked "inflow and "outflow." Label one sheet "home" and the other "congregation."
  • Prepare and set aside a sheet of newsprint with these questions:
    • Do certain items carry more weight than others?
    • Was anything unexpected on this list?
    • Is there a connection between the congregation's mission and the flow of money?

Description of Activity

Engage participants in a brainstorm. Ask them to name different ways that money comes into our personal lives (for example, earnings from work, gifts, garage sales) and then to name ways that it leaves (for example, rent, groceries, charitable donations, education, family support). Record the responses in the columns on the "home" sheet of labeled newsprint, until you have 10 to 15 items on each side of the "ledger." Then, repeat the process for the inflow and outflow of money in the congregation, capturing responses on the other labeled sheet of newsprint. Examples of inflow might be pledges, grants, collection plate, rental income; outflows might be salaries for staff, money spent on worship, the RE budget, and so on.

Post the sheet of newsprint with reflection questions. Offer these questions for group reflection, noting that you will explore them more deeply later in the workshop:

  • Do certain items carry more weight than others? How do we differentiate between everyday money and special money? How do we talk about the difference?
  • Was anything unexpected on this list?
  • In the case of the congregation, does the flow of money follow our values and mission?

For more information contact

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Friday, November 22, 2013.

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