Thank you for joining the Partners in Health and Wholeness Book Club. You can officially sign-up here. Through it, we hope to engage people of faith in discussions over why our health matters. We will be posting updates through the PHW Facebook page, but our PHW blog page will have the discussion posts in full with responses from staff. Just look for the apple on top of the book among the blog post pictures and you will find past Book Club entries.
This week will take a look at Eating Well Week 4: Honoring Neighbors from the free “Eating Well” NC Council of Churches Food Curriculum.
Excerpted from the curriculum (Leader’s Notes, Focus Statement and Scripture):
This week focuses on neighbors. We often forget that people who do not look like us or live near us are our neighbors.
Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan in response to the question, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus shows us that our neighbors are not just our friends or the people who are like us. As we continued to study God’s good creation, think about expanding your definition of neighbor even further to see all of creation as your neighbor. We are siblings to all of God’s creation – the land, the animals, and the plants – because God created all of us.
Luke 10:25-37 – The Parable of the Good Samaritan
In the first century, Jews and Samaritans were enemies. While both followed the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament) and worshipped Yahweh (the Hebrew name for God), Jews considered Samaritans heretics because they did not worship in Jerusalem and they intermarried with other tribes.
The feud between the two peoples was so strong that Jews would often travel far out of their way rather than set foot in Samaria. The Jews would not have expected to hear about a good Samaritan, so Jesus shocks his Jewish audience by using a Samaritan as a positive example. As you read this parable, ask yourself who is a “Samaritan” to you?
Discussion Prompts from the curriculum (feel free to create your own prompts or to respond to one or more of these):
1. How does food play in our faith tradition? What are the important stories, rituals, or traditions that revolve around food?
2. What did you see in the film that surprised you the most?
3. If food does play an important role, what are the implications for how the food is produced?
–Joy Williams, PHW Regional Consultant
Partners in Health and Wholeness is an initiative of the North Carolina Council of Churches. PHW aims to connect health as a faith issue. Please visit our website to sign your personal pledge to be healthier, and to find out about grant opportunities for churches in NC. Continue to stay connected with PHW by liking us on Facebook.