Set up:

Chairs should be arranged where each participant can hear and see the video as well as the facilitator. Because there will be discussion groups, facilitators may choose to use tables, but tables are not necessary. Participants should be able to move their seats around so that they may speak with one another. 

Needed Materials:

  • A way for the facilitator to keep time (a smartphone timer would work nicely)
  • Newsprint or a whiteboard and markers 
  • Audio-visual capabilities 
  • One copy of Signs of Life Practice Sheet per participant

Learning Goals:

The learning goals for this particular Sign of Life are:

  • Connecting the sign of food to personal spirituality or experience
  • Understanding how food plays a role in Christian worship and community life
  • Learning a new contemplative practice that can help participants connect more deeply to the sign of food

Collect (5 minutes)

Gather the groups attention, and open with this collect:

O God, who by the abundance of your Son all Creation is nourished and satisfied: Grant us, we pray, a holy hunger to be filled with your good things, and food for the leanness of our souls; through the bread of eternal life, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Watch the Video (15 minutes):

Read the following prompt:

“As you watch this video, pay attention to the various ways food is explored, and think about how food is present in the life and liturgies of your worshiping community.”

Press play and watch the video through to the end. 

Reflection Question (5 minutes):

After the video is over, read the following script:

“Take one minute to think about the answer to this prompt: ‘In your life, how is food used to mark special occasions? Share an example.’ At the end of one minute, I’ll invite you to turn to a neighbor. You will each have two minutes to share your experience. One of you will start, and the other should listen. At the end of two minutes, I’ll ask you to switch. When one person is talking, the other should not interrupt. Please listen to your partner.”

Use a timer to give the group one minute to think about the question. At the end of one minute, invite them to share with their neighbor. After two minutes of sharing, invite the other participant to share. At the end of two minutes, call the group back to attention. 

Discussion Groups (15 minutes):

Read the following script:

“Please gather into groups of four or five. You will take the next 15 minutes to discuss the following three questions:

  • Where does food show up in the life and liturgy of your worshiping community? How does food help you tell the Story?
  • Brother Luke says, “A piece of bread each day is a helpful reminder [that] I’m given what I need as opposed to all I crave.” When have you received what you what need instead of what you want? 
  • All around us, people are hungry for food that nourishes body and soul. Is this need being met in your community? How does your worshiping community meet this need?

You will be able to reference the questions here [gesture to where you’ve posted the questions] or on your handout. I’ll remind you when you are halfway through your time.”

Use a timer to remind participants when seven minutes have passed. When there are two minutes remaining, give participants a two minute warning. 

Gathering Conversation (10 minutes):

Ask one person from each small group to share a highlight of their discussion with the larger group. Responses may be gathered on whiteboard or newsprint.

Closing:

Bring attention to the Signs of Life: Light Practice Sheet. Read this script:

“Here is a reminder of the daily practice for this Sign of Life. As you eat this week, give thanks to God for your food and also your feelings, whether hungry or full. Remember that Jesus is the Bread of Life; Jesus is food that nourishes us, body and soul.”

Pray the Signs of Life collect:

O God, who by the abundance of your Son all Creation is nourished and satisfied: Grant us, we pray, a holy hunger to be filled with your good things, and food for the leanness of our souls; through the bread of eternal life, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thank participants for participating. The session is over. 

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