Affirming Charity, Compassion, and Justice

Congregational Curriculum Outline

I.  The Situation: Crisis of Others

I.1     Starting questions
            a)    What do we see?  Near/far
            b)    What do we say?  How do we describe it?
            c)     What do you want and/or need to know how to explain this?
           d)     Who are we?

I.2     Realities of Homelessness and Scarcity
            a)     Extent of homelessness as hub
            b)     Scarcity of political will
                        1)  Government
                        2)  Faith community
                        3)  Private sector
                        4)  Nonprofit
                        5)  Those who are homeless
            c)      Lack of safety nets, being within silo unable to escape

I.3    Realities of our Response
            a)     The other “Silo” and scarcity of partnerships
            b)     Shortcomings and loci of personal responsibility
            c)     Scope in time and place

II. Our Crisis: Dilemmas We Face


II.1    Before We Act
            a)      Exploration of need
            b)      Our responses
            c)      Single-minded, singularly-aimed solutions


II.2    How We Control What Exists as Crisis
            a)      Sustained willfully
            b)      Myths that sustain
            c)      Partners-at-odds

III. Reconciliation: Remedy and Response

III.1    Seeing via Praxis

            a)    Reflection

            b)    Action

III.2   Faith dictate: Do this
            a)   Christian
            b)   Jewish
            c)   Muslim
            d)   Unitarian and other

III.3   Affirmation of abundance and gifts
            a)   Recognizing what is present
            b)   Recognizing emergency and urgency
            c)   Recognizing life/death as paradigm over good/evil

III.4    Exercise of personal and community discipline

            a)  Listening
                      1)   Hearing and experiencing a divine command
                      2)   Re-fill and re-place

                      3 )  Use of silence
            b)  Tell the story (to reveal hope)
                      1)  Re-formation of the story via the one in need
                      2)  Witness of the story and testifying to need
                      3)  Bringing what is recognized to public attention
                      4)  Speaking to perpetrator and victim
            c)  Act via charity, compassion, and justice
                      1)  Charity as the provision

                                - direct service, care, contribution
                      2)  Compassion as “suffering with”  and as necessary bridge
                                - without remedy to provide simple presence
                      3)  Justice as effecting systemic change
                                - enduring and corporate
                                - as hospitality interpersonally
                                - tangible, as in providing not simply shelter but a home
                      4)  The Centrality of Compassion or the Best 2 out of 3 :  Charity plus  
                              compassion; Justice plus compassion