Activity 1: Sharing Our Money Autobiographies
Activity time: 35 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Newsprint, markers, and tape
- Chime or small bell
- Covenant from Workshop 1
- Optional: Talking stick (or another item to pass to each speaker)
- Optional: Refreshments
Preparation for Activity
- Post covenant from Workshop 1.
- Write the following questions on newsprint, and post:
- What are the earliest experiences with money that you remember? What messages did you take away from those experiences?
- What were you taught about money by your family, friends, and faith community when you were growing up?
- How were money decisions handled in your family of origin? Give an example of an important decision, what was at stake, who was involved, and how it turned out.
- What have been the most significant financial milestones in your life?
- What teachings have been most valuable in your financial journey?
- What three adjectives best describe your relationship with money?
- What is the primary feeling you have about money today? How has that shifted (if it has) during your life?
- How important is your relationship to money and your understanding of money to who you are?
- Post blank newsprint.
- Optional: Set out refreshments.
Description of Activity
Call attention to the posted covenant and remind people of their agreements. Say:
You will share your money autobiography with a partner, revealing as much of your story as you feel comfortable sharing. If you have not prepared a story, you may respond to the posted questions when it is your time to speak. Each speaker will have ten minutes to share; a total of twenty minutes for the pair. Please listen with intention. Refrain from interruption, comments, or questions when it is your partner’s turn to speak.
Invite participants to form pairs. If you have an uneven number, form a group of three. Keep track of time. Sound the chime after ten minutes (and every six to seven minutes, for triads), asking partners to switch roles. Sound the chime again at the end of the allotted time.
Have partners rejoin the larger group. If you have chosen to use a talking stick, explain that it will be passed to the one who is speaker as a reminder to focus on the one speaking rather than engaging in side conversations or planning one’s own next words. Invite each person to briefly share two or three highlights from a partner’s story. Keep this portion of the activity to 15 minutes.
For the final five minutes, lead the group to brainstorm patterns, themes, and feelings that emerged from the stories. Record them on newsprint.