Acting Responsibly in a Global Society
Faithful Citizen is an Internet-based small group study which explores two poles of current life—individualism and the common good—and how to respond faithfully to the interlocking global challenges of economics, ecology, security, and health. Faithful Citizen is a project of the Center for the Congregation in Public Life at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. The curriculum is inspired by Eric Mount, an advisor to Unbound, member of the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy, and author of Community & the Common Good: An Interpretation of Christian Ethics.
The CCPL is seeking a means to assist church people to become faithful citizens, to counter America’s first language of radical individualism with the language of covenant, community, and common good.
The “public church” in America has been identified by church historian Martin Marty as mainline Protestant, Roman Catholic, and evangelical churches that are especially sensitive to the surrounding public order. Unfortunately, adult faith development in this churches often lacks a public component. While seminaries that train future clergy frequently require courses in Christian social ethics, congregations have few resources that provide a foundation in the Christian tradition of addressing public life. Add to this another problem: while congregations often run a smorgasbord of programs to improve society, they are plagued by the problem of volunteer burnout. With adequate resources from the Christian tradition, volunteers would be able to see the vital connection between faith and social ministry.
Why Not Go It Alone? – sample video from the study
How to Use This Group Study
Each session may be conducted in one hour or expanded to include a meal and personal sharing. Taken together, the resource materials can be used as a six-week course. However, these materials are designed for flexibility can be used in variety of class, retreat, and other formats.
- Watch and discuss together a 10 minute videotaped conversation between renowned sociologist Robert Bellah, author of Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life, and Donald W. Shriver, Jr., Emer. Pres., Union Theological Seminary (NYC) and author of Honest Patriots: Loving a Country Enough to Remember Its Misdeeds.
- Watch and discuss together a 5 minute film clip that dramatically uncovers the challenges, tensions and unresolved dilemmas created by the current global situation. Rather than attempting to resolve issues, these brief film clips create a shared experience as group participants and the facilitator make what they will of the film.
- Purchase and download a six-part study guide with in-depth discussion of global issues affecting our faith, including the economy, ecology, security and health. Each session may be purchased individually for $8.00. The entire study guide my be purchased for $40.00.
- Download Teaching and Learning Tips with suggestions for group leaders on how to facilitate learning.
Session 1: From Individual to Faithful Citizen
“Why worry about the world’s troubles? I’ve got enough of my own!”
Session 2: Covenant for a New Economy
“Is my job going to China?”
Session 3: Civic Engagement for the Earth
“I’ve changed my light bulbs. Now what?”
Session 4: Toward a Secure Community of Nations
“Why don’t I feel safe? And besides, why do they hate us?”
Session 5: A Common Interest in Healthy Lives
“I have all my immunizations. What is so hard about that?”
Session 6: Church and Family as Schools of Civic Virtue
“How can we teach citizenship? We don’t have time to eat together!”
Volunteers in various social ministry programs in churches; adult education class regular attendees who may never directly engage the social ministry of the church but who do support it and wish it to succeed; and college and seminary students with particular interest in social justice ministries.
Dana Horrell, Executive Director
Center for the Congregation in Public Life
415 Wolcott Avenue, Syracuse, New York 13207