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Session 3: Different (2 hours or more)
Light the chalice and share this quote:
We have become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams. — Jimmy Carter
Participate in a service project. Find a project that involves youth working side-by-side with a group of people who are share an identity most of the youth do not. Since you cannot make assumptions about the racial/ethnic or class composition of your group, you might seek a group with age, religious, or geographic diversity. This could mean working with children, elders, or youth groups of a different faith.
- What did we do?
- What changed because of our efforts? What did not change?
- If something you hoped to change did not, why not? Can you do something to help bring out the hoped for outcome?
- Was the experience different in any way from what you thought it would be like?
- Did the experience remind you of any similar experiences? If you have an experience once, it might be a fluke. If you have it more than once, you might see a pattern beginning to emerge. What conclusions can you draw from your similar experiences?
- Talk about the people you worked with on the project. What do you think they gained from this experience? Was this project about "doing for" or "working with" others in our community? What is the difference? What did you gain from the project?
- Talk more about the community you worked with on the project. Did you find commonalities and differences?
- Why do you think people are afraid of people who are different? Invite participants to share a time they encountered someone different and were afraid or hesitant or perhaps just not sure how they should act.
- Are there any next steps to be taken to continue the work started today? If so, make plans now, assigning duties, and deadlines. Answer questions to make sure everyone understands their role.
- Create a record of the project. This is could be an article for a district newsletter or a short verbal presentation to be shared with the host congregation during worship tomorrow. It could be a session based on the group's experiences to be presented at the next district gathering or at home churches.
Extinguish the chalice. Sing a hymn of your choice.