Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Miracles: A Multigenerational Program on Living in Awe and Wonder

Taking It Home: The Miracle of Social Change

Part of Miracles

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. — Harriet Tubman (c. 1820-1913), abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor

[E]ach of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total; of all those acts will be written the history of this generation. — Robert F. Kennedy

A small number of people in every generation are forerunners, in thought, action, spirit, who swerve past the barriers of greed and power to hold a torch high for the rest of us. Lappé is one of those. — Howard Zinn (1922-2010), in a tribute to Frances Moore Lappé, author of the groundbreaking 1971 bestseller, Diet for a Small Planet

IN TODAY’S SESSION… the group heard the story of Jesus’ transformation of five loaves of bread and two fish into abundant food for thousands of people. We considered, “How was the community transformed? What was miraculous?” We observed the ripple effect in water and discussed ways we can create a “ripple effect” in our own communities to help change the approach to shared problems such as homelessness, pollution, and unfair distribution of resources.

EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about… times you made a personal effort to help a larger cause—that is, to transform a community to which you belonged. What motivated you to act? What actions(s) did you take? How did your actions inspire others to help? Did your effort lead to a visible change at the community level? How could you tell? At the time, did anything about your impact strike you as miraculous? In retrospect, how does the experience touch your sense of awe and wonder? Your understanding of what is a miracle?

EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Look for a social action or justice advocacy project your family can join. Find a rally, fundraiser, a park clean-up, a pet spay/neuter campaign, or another community service project where you can experience together how an individual’s actions help shape community transformation.

Family Ritual – iRipple. Plan a regular time to share about the activities each member of your family has done which might have a ripple effect. Make stickers to wear that say “iRipple;” the badge is a reminder that all of our actions have rippling effects out into the world. Make a chart to mark each family member’s iRipple reports.

Family Discovery. Scientists tell us that the world produces enough food to feed everyone. We have hunger because some people have more food than they can eat, some have too little food, and a lot of food is wasted. Food redistribution (sometimes called food recovery or gleaning) projects try to balance this by taking excess food from some communities and taking it to communities in need. Research your community: Is there a local food redistribution organization or food bank? Can you volunteer to help? Here are a few examples: Magic City Harvest in Birmingham, AL, Project Share in Carlisle, PA and the Society of St. Andrew (operates gleaning projects in several states).