The Wi$dom Path, like most adult faith development programs, begins with participants’ own stories. It then offers a widening exploration of the ways that money influences our personal lives and relationships, the broader society, and the world. Practical tools are mixed with deep reflection about the impact of our fiscal choices, both as individuals and as congregations. Themes of generosity and stewardship are explored along with questions about class and justice.
The Wi$dom Path comprises 12 90-minute workshops, arranged around three themes, as follows:
Workshops 1-3: Money and Self
Participants build awareness of their own “money story” and explore their own attitudes and experiences with money.
Workshops 4-7: Money and Society
Participants explore the ways in which money connects us with others, including issues of classism and economic justice as well as money issues in congregational life.
Workshops 8-12: Money, Spirit, and Life
Participants delve into ways to align faith, values, and a sense of a life calling with their financial ways of being.
Workshop 1, Leader Resource 1 lists all 12 workshops by title and provides more detailed descriptions of individual workshops.
It is ideal to offer all 12 workshops in sequence. The workshops have been designed to follow one another, and the entire series is intentionally paced to invite deep engagement, faith development, and lasting changes in participants’ financial ways of being. However, an abbreviated program, Money and Self, using Workshops 1 and 2 or Workshops 1, 2, and 3 can offer a way to begin structured, covenanted conversations about money in your congregation.
Each workshop follows this structure:
Introduction. The Introduction summarizes the workshop themes and content and offers guidance for implementing the workshop.
Goals. Goals provide the desired outcomes of the workshop. As you plan a workshop, apply your knowledge of your group, the time and space you have available, and your own strengths as a leader to determine the most important and achievable goals for the workshop. Choose the activities that will best serve those goals.
Learning Objectives. Learning Objectives describe specific participant outcomes that the workshop activities are designed to facilitate. They describe what participants may learn and how they may change as a result of experiencing the workshop.
Workshop-at-a-Glance. This useful table lists the core workshop activities in order and provides an estimated time for completing each activity. It also presents the workshop's Faith in Action activity and Alternate Activities.
Workshop-at-a-Glance is not a road map you must follow. Rather, use it as a menu for planning the workshop. Many variables inform the actual completion time for an activity. Consider the time you will need to form small groups or relocate participants to another area of the meeting room.
Spiritual Preparation. Each workshop suggests readings, reflections, and/or other preparation to help facilitators grow spiritually and prepare to facilitate with confidence and depth. You may invite the workshop participants, at Closing, to engage in the same spiritual practice you will do before the following workshop so that they, too, will arrive at the workshop centered and ready to engage with the material and the group.
The following elements comprise each workshop:
Opening. Each workshop begins with a short opening ritual, including a welcome, chalice lighting, and reading or song. Shape the opening ritual to suit your group and the culture and practices of your congregation.
Activities. To provide a coherent learning experience, present the core activities in the sequence suggested. Activities address different learning styles and include individual, small group, and whole group exploration.
Each activity presents the materials and preparation you will need, followed by a description of the activity and detailed directions for implementing the activity with your group. Accessibility guidance is provided, in an Including All Participants section, for activities that have unusual physical circumstances or for which a reminder about inclusion may benefit facilitators. Please consult the Accessibility Guidelines for Adult Workshop Presenters in the Integrating All Participants section of this Introduction for strategies to meet some common accessibility needs.
Faith in Action. In each workshop, an activity is suggested for the group to do outside the workshop meeting times. This is an opportunity for participants to apply workshop themes to action that can transform our congregations and our world.
Workshop Closings include the suggestion that you download the Faith in Action section and combine it with the Taking It Home section as a handout. (Note: You can customize Faith in Action, Taking It Home, or any other component of this curriculum. Download it to your own computer and edit it with your own word processing program.)
Closing. Each workshop offers a closing ritual that signals the end of the group's time together. Like the Opening, the Closing grounds a shared learning experience in ritual. Shape your closing ritual to fit the group and the culture and practices of your congregation.
Leader Reflection and Planning. Find time as co-facilitators to discuss these questions after each workshop to strengthen your skills and your understanding of the group.
Alternate Activities. Workshops offer Alternate Activities you can use either as a substitute for a core activity or to add to the workshop. An alternate activity may require more time than a core activity or approach the workshop’s core content in a different way. It may depend on Internet access or video presentation equipment. It may extend learning in a direction not offered in any of the core activities.
Review alternate activities along with the core activities when planning a workshop. Select the activities you feel will work best for you and the group. Keep in mind the benefits of a well-paced workshop that includes different kinds of activities.
Resources. Workshops include the following resources you will need to lead the workshop activities.
- Stories – Narratives from the Sources of our Unitarian Universalist tradition that illuminate and support the workshop activities.
- Handouts – Sheets you will need to print out and copy for participants to use in the workshop.
- Leader Resources – Background information and/or activity directions you will need during the workshop.