Workshop II Summary

Summary of Second Community Workshop

22 July 2002

The goal of this workshop was to examine the pressures on our lives, and in particular the economic pressures on all of us and the effects those pressures have on our lives and our church. Mark Ruzon foreshadowed next week's meeting with a faith reflection on Moses' call, and Diane Wakeham gave PIA's credential, giving a sample of its many accomplishments. David Mann, PIA's executive director, divided the pressures into 4 categories with the following diagram:

		Community Issues	| Values/Psychological/Cultural
		   housing		|          race
		   traffic		|	ethnocentrism
		   etc.			v       materialism
		Overscheduled pace	^         Economic
		 university life	|        (see below)
		 Silicon Valley		|
We then examined the economic side by looking at:

The Household as Money Machine

Budget/Costs How Households Cope Effects on Households Effects on Church
car payments
gasoline and oil
car repair
luxury items:
political donations
- work 2 jobs
- more debt/credit cards
- leave the area altogether
- having renters/roommates
- long-distance commutes
- children caring for children
- not saving, bankruptcy
= extended families
- give up play/quality time
- delaying family
- medicating stress
- ignoring medical problems
+ living simply, save more
+ sharing responsibilities
+ gardening
- medical problems
- no long-term planning
- older parents
- separation or divorce
- abuse/violence
- gangs, teen pregnancy
- eviction
- unfulfilled lives
- lack of civic involvement
- cynicism and apathy
+ self improvement
+ cooperative living
- mental health problems
- competitive atmosphere
- decline in attendance
+ increase in attendance
- decrease in offering
- more needs to address
- more stress on staff
+ people work together
+ opportunity for spiritual education
+ willingness to hear the Good News

Our overall observations were:

  • Negatives are easier to come up with
  • Reactions to adversity can be positive or negative
  • Living simply solves many of these problems
David proposed the following conclusions:
  1. The world/media is pulling us to be overbudgeted.
  2. By talking to people one-to-ones we can understand how people experience these pressures in their lives.
  3. Our world is focused on therapy as opposed to prevention. PIA is oriented towards prevention.
  4. Community organizing is a public prevention model.
Allison Lasser, a PIA community organizer, then handed out a sheet on the PICO Organizing Process.