Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Newsprint, markers, and tape
- Illustrated news magazines
- Optional: Computer(s) with Internet access
Preparation for Activity
- Gather a variety of current news magazines that depict and describe hunger; homelessness; terrorist acts and armed conflict; disparities in access to health care, clean water, and public safety services; and other, real problems, local and global. Choose thoughtfully—avoid shocking or disturbing images and information. Suggestions:
- News magazines geared toward children, such as Time Kids
- Publications/websites of aid and advocacy groups such as Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières, Partners in Health, Feeding America, Earthjustice, Greenpeace, and TeachKind (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)
- Local and national newspapers and news magazines
- Consider how you will form groups. Be ready to rearrange some participants so a group diverse in age is seated together at each work table.
- If you have access to the Internet, plan how you will incorporate online research into this activity.
- Post a few sheets of newsprint.
Description of Activity
Distribute magazines and newspapers at work tables. Divide participants into mixed age groups, including some strong readers, at each table.
Invite participants to explore the publications and identify some local and global situations that “need a miracle.” Then, invite the groups to name and briefly describe the situations they have found. List the situations on a sheet of newsprint.
Discuss each situation one at a time. (It is fine to stick with a good discussion about one of the situations.) Invite everyone to share information. Generate questions to help the group clarify problems and understand something about their underlying causes. What sort of miracle needs to happen to solve the problem? Who or what needs to change? Together, brainstorm actions that could help bring about the needed miracle, to transform the community in a way that would alleviate the problem. Make sure all ages and abilities are invited to contribute and note all ideas on newsprint.
Ask, “What can one person to do get this action started?” Remind the group what Jesus said and did in the skit. How might one person’s actions inspire or change others, in this modern situation? What would be the evidence that a miraculous change has occurred in the community?