Faith In Action: Work and Meaning
Activity time: 0 minutes
Preparation for Activity
- Approach professional staff or lay leaders in your congregation to make plans to engage the topic of faithful earning with others beyond your workshop group. Ask for guidance about how to keep the focus of such a conversation on "the search for daily meaning" rather than on credentials or monetary earnings.
Description of Activity
Work with others in your congregation or group to encourage reflection on faithful earning. Through posters, social media posts and newsletter articles, ask people to talk about why they do what they do for work. What are the most challenging parts? The most rewarding? How is their work "a search for daily meaning as well as daily bread," as Studs Terkel wrote? Ask those who respond to keep the focus on what is meaningful about their work, rather than on credentials or earnings.
Decide how to share the responses with your faith community or group. You might plan part of a worship service, create a bulletin board, arrange for a panel or small group discussion, or write a session for small group ministry or covenant groups.
As part of your project, arrange for the Wi$dom Path group to spend time with the youth of your congregation. Explain that you have been talking about faithful earning, and share with them this quote from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking to students at Barrett Junior High School in Philadelphia, October 26, 1967:
I want to suggest some of the things that should begin your life's blueprint. Number one in your life's blueprint, should be a deep belief in your own dignity, your worth and your own somebodiness. Don't allow anybody to make you feel that you're nobody. Always feel that you count. Always feel that you have worth, and always feel that your life has ultimate significance.
Secondly, in your life's blueprint you must have as the basic principle the determination to achieve excellence in your various fields of endeavor. You're going to be deciding as the days, as the years unfold what you will do in life-what your life's work will be. Set out to do it well.
Ask them to consider whether and how Dr. King's words ring true for them. Invite them to converse with you about to navigate conflicting messages about work, such as "find a career that pays well" and "follow your dreams." How are the conflicting cultural messages challenges difficult for you? For them?
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