Activity time: 120 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Handout 1, Field Trip and Community Walk
- Taking It Home
- Participant cameras
- Participant journals or small notebooks, and pens/pencils
- Optional: Road maps or walking maps of your community
Preparation for Activity
- Download Taking It Home and copy for all participants (or, plan to email it to the group).
- Collect the cell phone numbers of participants who will bring a phone on the field trip. Create a list and copy it for all participants.
Description of Activity
Gather participants and introduce the activity using these or similar words:
It is far easier to move through the world without really seeing much of it. Think about how often we turn into the driveway or walk home after a long day at work and realize we were on auto-pilot the entire trip home? This workshop interrupts the experience of "turning on the auto-pilot" in order to help us see our congregation and community as thoughtfully as we possibly can. Our task today is simple but powerful: Get out of our car and explore at least two (or more) neighborhoods that are important to our congregation, I invite you to gather a few astute observations, which we will process in later Building the World We Dream About workshops.
Travel in small groups, no larger than five. After you have formed your group, plan your trip. You may begin by exploring the neighborhood where this congregation is located, and then continue on to one or more other communities in the area. You may choose to begin in a neighborhood a distance from the congregation and end your time in the immediate area. Your task is to talk with people and find out about their hopes, aspirations, and challenges and to get to know a bit about the neighborhood. You might stop in at a market to talk with people, at a church, or at a playground (but do not approach children without first talking with their parent!). Take pictures and notes, if they will help you in processing, understanding, or remembering, but do not let the camera or the notebook act as a barrier, or a means of detaching yourself from the experience. You will be asked to report back next time on what you observed and discovered, and what insights you gained.
Distribute the cell phone number list; Handout 1, Field Trip and Community Walk; Taking It Home handout; notebooks and pens/pencils for those who need them; and (optional) maps. Invite participants to form small groups and take a few minutes to plan their trip.
Participants may go their separate ways at the end of their field trip.