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Ten Ways to Engage Social Justice

A playlist of activities for the whole household of God

1. THE BIBLE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

  • Read this story based on Matthew 25:31-46:

One day, Jesus had some very important things to tell his friends and followers. He
knew it might be a hard thing to hear, but he wanted to make sure they understood what
it meant to be someone who followed him.

Jesus told them a story about two groups of people. He said that one group saw that he
was hungry and gave him food and that he was thirsty and gave him something to drink.
They saw that he was a stranger, and they welcomed him. They saw that he needed
clothes, and they gave him clothes. These people saw that he was sick or tired or lonely
or sad, and they visited with him. Jesus said that these people were blessed and were
living like God’s children.

In Jesus’ story, the people in this first group didn’t understand. They said, “Wait a
minute! We didn’t see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or needing clothes. And, when
did we visit with you when you were sick or tired or lonely or sad?”
Jesus said, “Oh! But you did!” He explained, “Whenever you gave food to someone who
was hungry, I was there. Whenever you gave water to someone who was thirsty, I was
there. Whenever you gave someone clothes when they didn’t have them, I was there.
Whenever someone was feeling sad and you helped them feel better, I was there.
Whenever someone was alone and you helped them feel loved, I was there. When you
helped people, it was just like you were helping me.”

“Oh!” the people said. “When we help anyone in need, we are helping you.”

“Yes,” said Jesus, and he continued with his story. “So then there is the other group.
They weren’t so helpful. There were some people who said they loved me and wanted
to be my followers, but for them it was just a bit too much trouble. When they saw
people who were hungry and thirsty, they did not stop to help. When they saw people
who needed clothes, they thought it was someone else’s job to help. When they saw
someone who was sad and lonely, they felt a little bad, but they did not try to help.”

“Oh,” the people sighed. “We didn’t see you, but you were there too, right?”

Jesus said, “Yes. When you don’t help others, you aren’t being my followers. Even if you
don’t see me, I am there with the hungry and thirsty people, those who need clothes or
a friend.”

  • Discuss: What do you think this story means?
  • How does Jesus say we are supposed to help others?

2. READ

  • Read a book that addresses Social Justice and discuss it. Find an extensive list of books here!
  • Some Pastor Jinny’s favorite books about social justice include:
    • Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson
    • I Walk with Vanessa by Keraskoet
    • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
    • Desmond and the Very Mean Word by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams
    • God’s Dream by Archbishop Desmond Tutu

3. VOLUNTEER

  • Volunteer as a family at a local food pantry, soup kitchen or animal shelter.
  • Find a local nursing home to ask if your child might be “Pen Pals” with a resident.
  • Join the First Pres New Haven Family on August 6th at the Interfaith Day of Service

4. CONCIOUS CONSUMING

  • Learn about Fair Trade practices and products.
  • Look at labels when you shop this week. Find and purchase at least one product that is Fair Trade.
  • Consider alternate gift giving—what could you make or pass along instead of buying
    something new?
PCUSA Lent 2020

5. WHAT’S GOING ON?

  • Have a conversation with the young ones in your family about what is going on in the
    news. Choose a current event and discuss it an age-appropriate way.

  • Let your young people lead the conversation. Ask if there is anything they are curious about, or have heard about at church, school, on TV, or from friends.
Seasons Of The Church

6. CREATION CARE

  • Learn about energy here with this video
  • Talk about energy usage, and how to reduce, reuse and recycle.
  • Participate in Creation Care by taking care in community clean-up or Earth Day style
    project.
  • Create a coloring page from Illustrated Ministry here
  • For more in-depth conversations about Creation Care, check out this resource from Illustrated Ministries:  An Illustrated Earth: Celebrating God’s Creation is a 12-week, no-prep curriculum that focuses on Bible stories that celebrate water, plants, food, and animals. It is designed to draw children
    ages preschool to fifth grade into conversation with biblical stories that relate to these
    elements of God’s creation. A free sample lesson is included, along with the information for
    purchasing this resource.
Shawna Bowman Painting

7. WATCH

  • How do you feel inspired to give back? What other actions can young people take?
Pray And Play

8. EXPLORE

9. LOVE AND KINDNESS

  • Recognize the value of kindness and affirm what is good about others. Practice an
    intentional act of kindness.
  • Ask, “Where did you see God’s love today? How did you show God’s love to others?”

10. CULTURE

  • Learn about a different culture. Check out a book from the library, visit a museum,
    attend a cultural celebration, or invite someone from a different culture over for a meal.
  • Learn about your own family’s culture(s).
How You Can Help

What are playlists and how do we use them?

On this page you will find “playlists,” a variety of ways to engage your family in activities that
encourage conversations and growing a deeper faith. There may be a Bible story, video, or other
activity with a specific theme. You can use them with your family to grow in your faith in God
and with one another.

Pick a time that works for your family, whether it’s once a week, every day, or somewhere in
between. Use one or two things or use them all. It’s up to you.

Check out our other seasonal playlist: Observing Lent.

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