This post was originally published on Do Justice.
Two resources, Let’s Talk About Privilege and Homegrown Faith and Justice, offer studies to help young people grow in their journey of faith formation. Both resources provide strong Biblical teaching, in-depth questions, and activities for practical application. In our desperately hurt and broken world, recognizing privilege and responding with faith and justice marks us as followers of Christ. These resources help families and faith leaders guide children and young people on that path.
Let’s Talk About Privilege by Jane Genzink, a Calvin College professor, covers three topics for 1st-5th grade. The lessons begin with an interactive group activity with reflection questions that introduce each topic. Students then participate in a group discussion. They are given space to talk about what they are still wondering. Groups consider what the Bible has to say about privilege. They are left with a practical application for their own lives.
In the Bible, we see that God did not only use the privileged. He often used ordinary and even flawed people. These lessons challenge students to think about people that are often left out. Groups read stories about someone with a disability and a refugee while considering the Biblical response to those at the margins. Part of responding to those who do not have privilege means being a godly neighbor. Students explore how to reach out to those around them that need care.
The lessons encourage students to consider and recognize privilege. Given that knowledge they can then learn how to respond Biblically to those without the same advantages. Responding with Christ’s love allows opportunity to be opened up to people on the margins, something that often marked work and ministry of Jesus.
Homegrown Faith and Justice, written with support from the United Church of Christ Minnesota Conference Ashley Endowment Fund, offers four lessons. Each lesson includes Biblical references, age-appropriate activities, conversation starters, and rituals for families and faith formation leaders.
The lessons cover the topics of God’s vision of shalom, God and love, love and neighbor, and courage to do the right thing. The first chapter, God’s Vision of Shalom, shares how the Hebrew meaning of shalom entails more than just peace, but restitution and justice for all of creation. A suggested daily ritual for this chapter includes taking time as a family to start the day by pausing, breathing, and praying.
In God and Love, participants are reminded that nothing can separate us from the love of God. When we have intentional conversation with children about faith and justice topics, we often grow in our own understanding too. Each chapter also includes an idea for parents to stretch their thinking. This chapter also includes great song and contemporary music ideas to spark talking points.
The scripture reading for the chapter Love and Neighbor asks us to examine our heart and mind as to who our neighbor is and how to love them. This section suggests reading material to expand thinking about the definition of neighbor in our own lives. Families are invited to move into spaces that stretch them and opens God’s love to all communities.
The last lesson, the Courage to do the Right Thing, encourages families to express their faith in courageous ways. Parents and faith leaders are given tools from film, historical role models of courage, and advocacy organizations to practice courageous faith. Prayers ask that parents and leaders see situations of injustice so that families can courageously and faithfully respond.
You can access Let's Talk about Privilege here.