It's easy to be independent when you've got money. But to be independent when you haven't got a thing—that's the Lord's test. — Mahalia Jackson, gospel singer
This workshop focuses on economic justice and economic class to explore ways money and wealth shape our individual choices and actions in the broader society. What day-to-day challenges and opportunities face people in different economic circumstances? How does one’s financial means or social class relate to the dreams we have for our lives? How have participants encountered or observed classism?
Participants safely engage with the challenging topic of classism through activities, a story, and a game. The workshop offers time for processing and reflection, both individually and collectively, through art, meditation, and conversation.
Despite the whimsical story and fun activities, the topics of classism and economic justice may elicit participant feelings of shame, guilt, or a sense of being marginalized in the group; most of us have not been taught how to talk about social class. Before the workshop, read the reflection and discussion questions to identify hot buttons or areas of sensitivity for your group. Plan a time to discuss with your co-leader a way to share facilitation that will allow you to offer safe space for the sharing of personal stories using active and supportive listening, while managing any personal discomfort or anxiety about the topics. If a participant has a strong emotional reaction to an activity, engage your minister or pastoral care team to follow up.
Activity 3, Creative Response, invites participants to explore a nonverbal reflection activity. If you are not experienced with arts and crafts, ask a participant or a member of the congregation to help you gather supplies prior to the workshop. In addition, review Accessibility Guidelines for Adult Workshop Presenters.
This workshop will:
- Invite participants to do some dreaming about their financial lives
- Explore economic class, including the day-to-day challenges that people in differing economic circumstances face
- Present opportunities for participants to reflect on their own important financial decisions
- Offer reflection and response to economic justice stories and issues through art.
- Do some dreaming about their financial lives
- Consider the realities of class differences and their possible repercussions in the congregation
- Seek deeper understanding about fiscal choices through a guided meditation
- Use art as a way to process and name metaphors for their experiences.