Faith In Action: Money Values and Virtues in Congregational Life
Materials for Activity
- Newsprint, markers, and tape
- Recent sermons, newsletters, and other congregational materials in which money is a significant topic
Preparation for Activity
- Ask the minister, the worship committee chair, or another appropriate person to help you identify recent times in the life of your congregation when money issues took the forefront, such as a capital campaign, a pledge drive, or a budget shortfall or surplus. With their help, locate sermons, newsletters, or other materials that contain messages about money values in your congregation.
- Create a timeline of recent congregational events, programs, and ministries that required discussions about money.
Description of Activity
Explore the presence of messages in your congregation’s life and practices that convey an understanding about financial values and financially virtuous behaviors. Use these questions to start discussion:
- What is the place of money in the worship life of our congregation or group?
- How are financial values and virtues reflected in milestone events in our congregation?
- How does money figure into the social justice ministries of the congregation?
- What messages does our congregation convey to children and youth about money?
Briefly share the timeline you have made and information you have gathered. Invite participants to add their own memories and reflections.
Lead a discussion, using these questions to guide you:
- What primary issues are at stake in each particular event, sermon, program, or discussion?
- What key messages are offered?
- In what ways do these messages reflect faith commitments and values? Are there differing understandings of the course of action most in line with Unitarian Universalist values?
- What possibilities are there for conversations about differing understandings of financial virtue?
Plan a way to share your research, reflections, and observations with professional and lay leaders in your congregation.