Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Chalice, candle, and lighter or an LED/battery-operated candle
  • A chime or a small bell
  • Optional: Talking stick (or another item to pass to each speaker)
  • Optional: Refreshments

Preparation for Activity

  • Place chairs in a circle. Set a small center table with chalice and lighter.
  • Write the agenda for this workshop on newsprint, and post.
  • Optional: Set out refreshments.

Description of Activity

Welcome participants. Sound the chime and invite participants into a moment of quiet reflection as you prepare to enter into a time of centering and sharing. Invite a volunteer to light the chalice as you share these words:

We light this chalice in the spirit of growing abundance,

for the commitment to make difficult decisions in our lives,

and in the hope that we may act with both integrity and wisdom in growing the future for which today we plant the seeds.

Go around the circle, passing the talking stick if you have chosen to use one. Invite participants to say their name and check in with a few words about changes they are making in connecting money behavior with spiritual values.

Sound the chime to signal the end of the centering time.

Now, say:

Although there are many ways to invest in a person, project, or entity, including time, love, and energy, this workshop is about the issues and implications of putting surplus financial resources—our investable capital—to work by entrusting money to others in exchange for the promise of future financial benefit. By providing capital, financial investment can create opportunities for others to produce things of value, while yielding an economic return for the investor. At its best, investment connects people to one another in a way that creates and enhances possibilities for all concerned.

Whether or not one has personal financial resources to invest, one’s congregation, municipality, insurer, or other institution probably invests money in hope of future benefits. As faithful people, it is important for us to know something about the values that undergird those investments.

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