Before the Session
Facilitator: In advance of the session
- Review today’s scripture text and the session activities to help better facilitate the discussion.
- Have the Bible Background Video ready to view.
- Encourage your group to listen to the Faithelement podcast ahead of the next session (Share the link via email or social media)
Ask the group to see if they can recite the words from The Byrds’ song “Turn! Turn! Turn!”, then play the song and ask:
- If none of you have ever heard this song before, what do you think of it now that you have?
- Which of the most important phrases did you know by heart, which phrases did you miss?
- Why did you remember some phrases more than others?
- Why do you think this song was such a hit back when it was first released?
Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-13, then watch the Bible Background Video.
Ask questions like these:
- What impact is made in these verses by naming moments that are common to so many of life’s rhythms? Laughing, healing, sowing, dying, speaking. Do these verses give some importance to these every day moments?
- Some of the things named in these verses are things we try to avoid: war, losing, throwing away, death. In what ways does it impact our faith life that these unavoidable moments are named in scripture?
- “He has put a sense of the past and future in their minds.” When do you have the greatest sense of the past and the future?
- What kinds of things do you think of when you have the past and future in mind?
- The Bible background video names the idea that we do not have control over the events in life, yet, we take action; speak out against injustice; protest; and offer care to others. Why do we do this?
Share the video from Sky Roosevelt-Morris and remind the group:
The women of Standing Rock are from the Sioux Reservation in North Dakota and have been part of a protest against the construction of a crude-oil pipeline that planned to cross sacred burial and prayer sites and cause a threat to the water supply of the Native American community.
After months of protesting this pipeline, the people experienced some sense of victory when the Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for the construction of a section of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- In the video, Sky says “We believe in something that cannot be stopped.” Which of your beliefs have this sense of power and why?
- What does Ecclesiastes say that echoes the kind of connectedness discussed in this video?
- If there is a time for every matter under heaven, at what points does that connect us with others in our communities?
- In what ways do faith practices matter to you during life’s turns?
- What things like prayer, confession, worship, giving help you make sense of every season or time under heaven?
- What practices will you focus on in this new year?
Pray together to end the session.
Writer: Erin Robinson Hall