Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: The Wi$dom Path: An Adult Program on Money, Spirit, and Life

Activity 1: The Flow of Money

Part of The Wi$dom Path

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers, and tape

Preparation for Activity

  • Prepare and post two sheets of newsprint, each with two columns marked “Inflow" and “Outflow.” Label one sheet “Home” and the other “Congregation.”
  • Prepare and set aside a sheet of newsprint with these questions:
    • Do the personal list or on the congregational list include anything unexpected?
    • Do certain items carry more weight than others?
    • Is there a connection between my values and the flow of money in my personal life?
    • Is there a connection between the congregation’s mission and the flow of money?

Description of Activity

Engage participants in a brainstorm. Ask them to name different ways that money comes into our personal lives (for example, earnings from work, gifts, garage sales, retirement funds, tax returns, child support), and then to name ways that it leaves (for example, rent, groceries, charitable donations, education, family support). Record the responses in the columns on the Home sheet of labeled newsprint, until you have 10 to 15 items on each side of the ledger. Note: participants may hesitate to name such income sources as child support, tax returns, investment income, or transitional assistance; add them to the list to be inclusive of diverse economic circumstances. Then repeat the process for the inflow and outflow of money in the congregation, capturing responses on the other labeled sheet of newsprint. Examples of inflow might be pledges, grants, collection plate, rental income; outflows might be salaries for staff, money spent on worship, the RE budget, and so on.

Post the sheet of newsprint that lists the reflection questions. Offer these questions for group reflection in silence, noting that you will explore them more deeply later in the workshop.