I’ve summarized the first hour of my first session that took place on Monday evening, walking through the Engage, Explore, and Reflect steps. Now, the conclusion: the RESPOND step. The goal of the last step of the class is to challenge/invite them to a new kind of thinking and living, shaped by the Gospel.
- I said that we had just reflected on the goodness of God’s creation and that we can trust God to provide us with such abundance in his creation.
- I then said that we were going to do a little demonstration about how the abundance of God’s creation was being divided among human beings.
- I took out a little coin purse with 100 pennies in it and poured them out on the table explaining that they represent the wealth and resources of God’s creation.
- Then, I told them that we would represent the population of the world. Since there were 9 of us present, I said that I would also represent my aide, Lucy, making 10 of us. I said that Lucy and I would represent 20% of the world’s population and that we get 85 pennies!!! They were none too pleased with this! Next, I picked 2 students – a boy and a girl – to represent another 20% of the world’s population and gave them 1 penny! They immediately began to fight over who gets to hold the penny! Finally, I said that the remaining 6 of them represent 60% of the world’s population and that they got to share the remaining 14 pennies which they quickly grabbed for.
- I invited them to react to this distribution which they quickly noted was so unfair. One girl said, “So wait, this is how the world’s wealth is divided?” She wasn’t sure if she was hearing it right. I said that this is it and that we folks in the U.S. are part of the 20% who are enjoying 85% of the world’s abundance.
- I asked what we can do about this. The same girl responded that we need to share! Amen!
- At this point, they were getting giddy and tired and were still fighting over the pennies which I pointed out is what happens when resources are not shared fairly – violence erupts! I had them return the pennies to the table and encouraged them to share in the coming week because we can trust in the goodness of God’s creation.
- I then distributed a reminder sheet to them, inviting them to bring in a personal object of some kind for our prayer center and to memorize the first part of the Nicene Creed that expresses our trust in God the Father. It will be interesting to see how they respond to “homework” which I’ve not done much of in the past.
- At this point, I realized that I was 2 minutes overtime, so I had them bless themselves with holy water on their way out in lieu of doing an actual closing prayer.
All told, this Respond step was about 12 minutes. I was a bit rushed at this point but I still feel like I was able to get in what I had hoped to. They left with a good spirit and I felt that we had accomplished a great deal for our first night together.
I’m off to Houston for their catechetical conference. Come Monday, I’ll share my plan for Monday evening’s class. Have a great weekend!