Pathways to Discipleship
We begin the school year by SEEKING SHALOM for all, the holistic vision God offers for the thriving of all people. The series asks why our well-meaning traditional models haven’t had an impact on material poverty and offers insight into ways to make a bigger impact. How can our relationships with others help bring about the wholeness God intended. The resources below will give you additional pathways to explore these ideas.
The class series offered in person and via Zoom uses curriculum from the Lupton Center in Atlanta. The resources from the class are proprietary and may not be shared outside the participants in the class.
Targeted to Youth Families All
What do these passages say about the way we are to address poverty? Not just what we are to do.
■Lev. 19:10 - You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God.
■Deut. 24:14 - You shall not withhold the wages of poor and needy laborers, whether other Israelites or aliens who reside in your land in one of your towns.
■Ps. 82:3-4 - Give justice to the weak and the orphan; maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
■Is. 58:6-7 - Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
Color the petals on this image to reflect how robust (full color) or weak (no or slight color) these areas are in your life.
Recognizing that Individual and Community Flourishing are inter-related, consider how our efforts affect people living in poverty:
- What is the result of charity efforts that try to address just one area without paying attention to what is happening in others?
- Similarly, what if we only focus on individuals, even holistically, without thinking about the flourishing of the community as a whole?
“Spirituality is not complete until it reaches the whole person. … I think this community is wealthier than they think they are,” he said. “We have to reframe poverty. When the system talks about poverty, they start from what you don’t have. If you start from what I don’t have, you can’t help me build on what I do have.”
Poverty, Compounded - Gillian B. White The Atlantic - Staying poor isn’t just a matter of having too little money—it’s about a series of unstable circumstances that build upon each other.
Seeking Shalom Sunday Class - do not share this link outside of First Presbyterian
Changing Charity for Good (14:51)- Shawn Duncan - TEDx
Questions to consider:
- What do you think about the reframed “teach a man to fish” proverb?
- Note the contrast between "good stories” from foreign service trips vs. businesss strategies that create sustainable models. Can you think of soem “good stories” from short-term charity that likely had a negative impact in the long-term?
Read this case study:
What would you do? Where would you start?
What would you like to know that you don’t know?
If you were to start a initiative or program what would you focus on? How would you address it?