- Plan a meal, possibly potluck, possibly based on a particular culture’s cuisine.
2. Obtain supplies:
A. A fairly large world map (preferably find at home or borrow)
B. Tape for attaching the map to a wall
C. Post-It notes – about 5 per attendee
D. Pens for writing on the Post-It notes
3. Choose someone to lead/read the prayers.
4. You don’t need to ask the participants to prepare; in fact, it might be better if they don’t learn about the meeting plan beforehand.
Before the meal, we posted a large world map on the wall and gave everyone several small Post-It notes. We asked everyone to:
Think of the places in the world where they feel connected to someone.
For each place, write on a sticky note: their own name and the name of the person(s) they connect to that place—perhaps their family emigrated from there, their children now live there, they’ve spent time in that country, they know someone in mission there, or they know people who originated there.
Stick these notes on the map to show where in the world where they feel connected to someone.
Our map was almost covered with notes. We were globally connected!
Start the meal with a prayer, which could be spontaneous or written beforehand. We remembered those people we feel connected to around the world, the good things that are going on, and the people and places we hold in our hearts.
Over our meal, we had many conversations with each other about our global connections. Afterwards, everyone had the opportunity to share at least one of their connections with the larger group.
Discussion. Although many of us knew of each other’s mission trips, we learned more about what was important to each person, where they felt connected. Those who were new to the group, or not prone to talking about themselves, were also now willing to mention their connections, some of which were new to the rest of us. This easy camaraderie sparked by our sharing led to conversations about immigration, advocacy for peace, living in other cultures, and humanitarian efforts abroad.
Closing Prayer. A prayer about seeing God in many cultures would be fitting. This one is from the Maryknoll Book of Prayer.
A Prayer for Missioners
By Fr. Joseph Veneroso, MM
God, help me to cross human-made borders
to stand with all your sons and daughters
who live on the edge.
May everything I say and do help them to realize
how much you love, forgive, and care for them.