Pay particular attention to your own experience working with youth as social justice work is the kind of work that can be deeply engaging and authentic, yet can also bring up challenging topics. Read each workshop and reflect upon how your personal beliefs may be challenged. How will you respond when faced with the inevitable moments of challenge?
One way to devote time to your own needs as a leader is by engaging with the Spiritual Preparation in each workshop. It is easy to focus solely on the preparation and planning for activities and skip this portion of the workshop. Particularly in this program, Spiritual Preparation is useful for helping leaders prepare for the work of engaging youth in complex and sensitive issues. Spending time with the Spiritual Preparation will allow you to process your own feelings outside of the workshop space and thus be better able to focus on the participants' needs.
There may be activities that would be enriched by the contributions of others in the congregation. For example, Workshop 4, Empathy, contains material concerning immigration as a justice issue. If you have contacts with substantial knowledge in this area and experience working with youth, consider asking them to participate in that workshop. Remember, however, that not everyone is comfortable working with youth and take this into consideration.
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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