During the 10-week leading up to the 2016 President election we ran a campaign of daily mediations and devotions to empower and equip. These mediations were used as study guides in a small groups, but they were also used as tools for reflection and discussion in your family, your faith community, your neighborhood or on your own.
Love for Lunch (or Dinner, Breakfast, or Coffee!)
Here’s the idea: tell a friend, relative, colleague, or neighbor or two about We Stand with Love.
Then invite them over or out for coffee or a meal to talk about the meaning of love and why it matters so much now. If you enjoy the experience, schedule another get-together, and this time consider inviting one or two more person to join you – if possible, people of a different national or cultural origin, race, religion, political leaning, etc. And if that works, try scheduling another meal with an even broader invitation list.
Worst case scenario: you have a few good meals and deepen some friendships. Best case scenario – you form a little group of love warriors and love activists who change the world!
Here are some conversations prompts under three categories: Conversation Openers (to break the ice and get folks talking honestly and openly), Conversation Deepeners (to get beneath the surface), Conversation Extenders (to help your conversation extend into action).
Choose one or two questions from each category – and you’ll have a great time together.
Conversation Openers: Use one or more of these as you gather and/or before you eat.
A. Why do you think “We Stand With Love” is a good message for this time? What does “We Stand With Love” mean to you?
B. When you think of people who have embodied love to you in your life, who comes to mind? What did they do or say or not do or not say that communicated love to you?
C. The word love can easily become so overused that it means practically nothing. What are some other words that speak to you about love, and why are they meaningful to you?
D. Share an experience when you felt deeply loved. What lasting effects did that experience have on you?
E. Share an experience when you felt deeply unloved. What lasting effects did that experience have on you?
F. Share an experience where you felt you were an instrument or channel of love. What lasting effects did that experience have on you?
Conversation Deepeners: Use one or more of these as you eat.
A. Who in our society do you think feels most unloved these days, and why? What could be done to help those who feel unloved?
B. Someone has said that the opposite of love is not just hate … it is also fear or indifference. What is the opposite of love in your experience, and where do you see it at work in today’s world?
C. In economics we often speak of our GNP or GDP (Gross National Product or Gross Domestic Product). This number measures how much economic activity is going on and tells us whether the economy is growing or shrinking. But we don’t have a good measure for GNL or GGC – gross national love or gross global compassion. What would be measurable signs of growth or decline in love and compassion in our world today? What would the costs be of expanding our growth in wealth or weaponry without expanding our growth in love?
D. Our religious communities, at their best, teach us about love. Choose one of the quotes at the end of this document, read it out loud together, and share where you feel most touched, challenged, or inspired by it.
Conversation Extenders: Use one or more of these after your meal before you leave.
A. What have you enjoyed most about this conversation about love? Could you imagine two or three friends to invite to do the same thing? Who would you invite, and when? How about it?
B. Think of one simple loving act you could experiment with in the next 24 hours – any “random act of kindness” or simple, doable expression of compassion that comes to mind.
C. Think of one simple loving act your little group could experiment with in the next 24 hours – any “random act of kindness” or simple, doable expression of compassion that comes to mind that would help someone somewhere who currently feels unloved.
D. Think of one person you know who probably feels unloved right now. What might you do to let this person know she or he is loved?
E. Let’s get together again next week. Between now and then, each of us will choose a song, quote, or story about love to share. We’ll share them during our conversation deepener time.