By SSP Headquarters Staff
The reality of how community is formed and nurtured in the modern age has dramatically shifted with the introduction of COVID-19, and subsequent social distancing to prevent its spread. We are intimately aware of the toll this can take on individuals and faith communities endeavoring to maintain connection and encourage one another during this time.
During this season, we will offer up a “Spiritual Sandwich” every week to discuss with your loved ones and faith communities, written by SSP staff over the ages. We invite you to share in fellowship and reflection on these questions with family, friends, in person at home, or over video chat with your faith community!
For those new to Sierra Service Project, a Spiritual Sandwich is typically a lunchtime team discussion held at the SSP worksite over PB&J sandwiches, as volunteers break from a hard day’s work. Just like you would at SSP, you may delegate one discussion facilitator to be the “spiritual guru” in guiding the conversation.
Some best practices to keep in mind as you hold these Spiritual Sandwich discussions are:
- Mutual invitation: Create opportunities for everyone’s voice to be heard by taking turns intentionally inviting others to speak. Start with the person facilitating the conversation.
- Respect sharing: Honor the safe space you create in your group by avoiding “cross-talk” in the group setting. This means sharing from a place of personal reflection on your own life, rather than offering advice in response to something another person has shared.
- Silence can be holy: It’s okay to hold space for silence and reflection, rather than immediate responses to a question.
Spiritual Sandwich: Strengthening Community Through Service
In this time of slowing down, we ask you to prayerfully reflect on the act of strengthening community. You can do this through the lens of your experience partnering with SSP:
- What is your favorite way to serve others?
- What draws or motivates you to serve others?
- How is your faith reflected in your personal acts of service?
- How have you seen service to others done well this week?
- In what ways can you serve others well in your local context today?
End by sharing a hope each person has for the upcoming week.
Editor’s Note: We are collecting submissions for spiritual sandwiches from current and former staff, as well as evening devotional content from youth volunteers that can be shared with the SSP network! Submit your creative ideas, so we can continue to build community together.