Resources and Closing Thoughts - Catholic Rural Life

Resources and Closing Thoughts

This section of the Study Guide is for use in planning a parish, church or faith-based event. On page 41, you will find a list of Special Occasions that occur throughout the year; your group may want to select one of these days for a special service. You can also create your own special occasion or day of service.
The Prayers, Blessings and Litanies are suitable for church services, but also can be used at gatherings as a way to bring a faith-based perspective to a meeting or event.
During your study session on Food Security and Economic Justice, you can also draw from this resource section to hold a “prayer break” halfway through the session or as a closing prayer.
Additional Resources
This last page of the Study Guide is mainly a reference section for leaders or participants to explore if they want to study more about hunger and poverty issues. The organizations and websites listed provide a great deal of information. Many of these organizations also plan special occasions or observances, so you may want to coordinate a study session in line with their advocacy work.
Closing Thoughts
Give the group at least 90 minutes to work through the Study Guide, but keep in mind that the best discussions — those that generate new questions and open new vistas of knowledge — take three hours or so to ripen and mature. You may want to consider a three-part series of discussions and devote a separate period of time for Observing, Discerning and Acting.
Some people feel that open discussions can drift into vague or useless talk. If you begin to feel this in your group discussion, do not hesitate to step in and ask the group as a whole: “How does this matter to those who go hungry?” Spend some time deciding which questions are worth pursuing, which aren’t, then dive back in.
You will want to conclude the group discussion in a definitive way. We highly suggest a summary of the Action (or Actions) that group members have committed themselves to take. Make sure there is a sign-up sheet or that you have everyone’s contact information. As time allows, you may want to nominate or elect a working group leader: someone who agrees to move the action forward and keep everyone informed.
Finally, take a moment to ask participants what struck them the most throughout their discussions. Or, you may want to consider the passage from Isaiah 58 shown on the Contents page of the Study Guide. Read the passage aloud and ask the group if anyone now sees this in a new light, or sees a meaning that did not strike them before.
Then close with one of the prayers listed at the end of the Study Guide.
An Evaluation sheet is included in the packet of materials sent along with the Study Guide.  Please encourage participants to take a moment to complete the Evaluation and provide their feedback about the Study Guide. (You may want to have a second evaluation form for the study session itself.)
This Leader’s Guide, along with the Food Security and Economic Justice study guide, was developed to help parish ministers and church groups to study important agricultural, food and environmental issues in a faith-based context.
Related Titles
For I was Hungry and You Gave Me Food:
Catholic Reflections on Food, Farmers and Farmworkers
Published by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, this booklet is available in print editions in English and Spanish and may be ordered by calling toll-free 800-235‑8722. Ask for publication number 5‑603 (English), 5-903 (Spanish). This publication is also available online here.
Global Climate Change: A Catholic Response
Produced by CRL, this Study Guide uses a reflection/action methodology called Shared Christian Praxis. The process begins with identifying where people are in their life experiences, then engaging them in critical reflection on their experiences and relating those experiences to the Story and Vision of Christian faith. This process concludes by outlining the dimensions for future actions. Contact us for more details:
Visit our website to see other topics about food, agriculture and the environment. Our program areas include Stewardship of Creation, Rural Outreach and Ministry, Agriculture and Food, and Assistance for Catholic Campaign for Human Development Funds. News and Commentaries are also regularly added to the site. We will have much to say about the next Farm Bill coming up in 2012. Check out our website today, become a friend on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and let us know how we can better serve you!

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