UCC is one of sponsoring partners in the creation of this resource through your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing© Order from www.bread.org or 1-800-82-BREAD $10.00
Helps short-term mission teams understand how political, social and economic systems contribute to hunger and poverty. The guide will support and encourage mission teams to engage in advocacy as informed Christian citizens upon their return home. The guide focuses on advocacy for international mission teams, but is very appropriate for use by short-term mission trips within the United States.
Dutt, Krista. “Merge: A Guidebook for Youth Service Trips”
Merge is written for use with youth groups participating in service trips. Through seven sessions of preparation, on-site reflection, and follow up, this guidebook offers step-by-step plans for each session with discussions, fun activities, and reproducible journal pages for youth to record their experiences and thoughts. Topics include: build a team, connect with God through spiritual exercises, learn about cultural differences, explore God’s mission for the church, reflect on your experiences on the service trip, and apply what you learn back in your own setting. Krista serves as the National Program Director for DOOR (Discovering Opportunities for outreach and Reflection). Order from Mennonite Publishing Network: http://store.mpn.net/ or 800-245-7894. $15.99.US 1-(800-245-7894)
Other Resources emphasizing:
Richter, Don C. Mission Trips that Matter: Embodied Faith for the Sake of the World.
Nashville: Upper Room books, 2008. Available from Upper Room www.upperroom.org/bookstore and other book sellers.
Explores the purpose of a mission trip and highlights preparation and readiness for new experiences. Part II's chapter headings offer a hint of what is to come: Attentive Eyes, Attuned Ears, Sturdy Backs, Beautiful Feet, Open Hands, Courageous Lips, Conspiring Noses.
Disciples Home Missions and Week of Compassion. Get Dirty for Jesus! A Handbook for Organizing Work Trips. Available from Office of Disciples Volunteering at www.discipleshomemissions.org/Volunteer/SpecialProjects/ODVresources.htm.
Includes helpful resources for logistical planning as well as preparation Bible studies and suggestions for follow-up advocacy actions.
* On-Site Participation & Reflection:
Global Ministries. Mission Pilgrimage Journal: Seeing the Face of Christ in our Global Partners. Available from United Church of Christ Resources at 800 537-3394 Code: WCMPJ Mission Pilgrimage Journal.
Written particularly for participants in People-to-People Pilgrimages through UCC/Disciples Global Ministries, this booklet prompts reflection on the short-term mission experience with Bible passages, prayers and questions that are important within the United States as well as around the globe. It helps emobdy the local-global connections of mission.
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Meeting God in the Ruins - Devotions for Disaster Volunteers. Available free by calling 800.328.4648 (ISBN 6-0001-6788-1); pay shipping only.
Disaster recovery mission trip groups are encouraged to make use of resource. It takes volunteers through the preparations of leaving, working at disaster sites and returning home. The 48-page guide was written for individual devotions, but reflection questions can also be used in group settings. Since disaster volunteers often work in poor areas, the guide also offers facts on poverty.
Your local home improvement store - for building skills preparation. Attend trainings on specific construction/building/repair techniques offered at your local home improvement store. Or invite an experience home constractor to teach the group basic or advanced building skills.
United Church of Christ - Southbury, Connecticut. Halos and Hammers Handbook "Organizing Your Toolbelt" section. Very helpful list of tools your group may need if participating in a housing recovery or rehab mission trip. The section includes pictures of the tools and general categories of use. Posted at www.ucc.org/volunteer/mission-trip-opportunities/mission-trip-resources.
* Follow-Up Action:
Lupien, Julie and Michelle Scheidt. Remaining Faithful: How Do I Keep my Experience Alive? A Manual for Reflection, Integration and Prayer after a Short-Term Experience in Another Culture. Longmont, Colorado: From Mission to Mission, 2006. Available from Mission to Mission www.missiontomission.org/page6.html.
Questions and reflection starters for use after returning home. Includes a list of websites helpful for further action for justice and mission. Can be used as a group or as individuals.
Wider Church Ministries/Justice and Witness Ministries, UCC. Public Policy Briefing 2010. Download copy from www.ucc.org/justice/uccbriefingbook or contact 866.822.8224 ext. 3725 to place an order for a printed copy.
Section I: Advocacy 101 addresses a biblical call to advocacy, developing an advocacy strategy, engaging in effective policy advocacy, media advocacy tips, and gettting involved through the Justice and Peace Action network (JPANet).
Justice and Witness Ministries, UCC. Advocacy resources, ideas and networks. www.ucc.org/justice/advocacy_resources
UCC Mission Trip Opportunities, 2011 is your OCWM (Our Church's Wider Mission) at work. Through your contributions to OCWM basic support, youa re maintaining the infrastructure to make possible the networks and partnerships that provide these service opportunities and long-term relationships in local communities. OCWM - Changing Lives!
Several Host Sites in UCC Mission Trip Opportunities Offer On-Line Tool Kits that can be adapted for follow-up action from mission trips in many settings.
Example: Storytelling ideas - adapted from BorderLinks http://www.borderlinks.org/pdfs/Toolkit_for_Action.pdfSuggestions for Storytelling
* Put a human face and a three-dimensional life on issues encountered. Relay the stories and concerns you heard directly from the people you met. Tell of your personal experiences, learnings, inspirations.
* Be intentional in your language, so as to not cause your listeners to be defensive and to keep their attention. Do not report everything that was said or done. Refrain from stating generalizations. Use language that expresses your personal connection to the concerns or injustices witnessed.
* Do not be discouraged! People at home have not had the same experience. Know that you have a valuable and unique experience to share. You never know who coul dmake connections with their own similar previous experience and be influenced for later action. Telling the story makes a huge difference for those you met during your trip that would otherwise have no voice!
* Be an organizaer yourself! With your stories, draw connections between what you observed in your mission trip setting and the reality of the community in which you live. Get involved in your community and help organize opportunities for others to interact with and serve with people affected by these same issues.
Share Your Story - Some ideas
* Participate in worship leadership at your church. Preach the sermon; write the liturgy, compose songs; create banners...soon after you return home, and 3 months later.
Plan a gathering with family and friends. Share your photos and experiences.
* Show a relevant DVD to friends and relatives, church groups, student groups, etc., and facilitate a conversation about the issues you encountered. Have information available about the cultures, social an deconomic issues effecting people in your mission trip setting. Provide opportunities for conversation and dialogue.
* Do a presentation for a larger community group, rotary club, church congregation, or other group you may have a connection to.
Determine a format for the event then put together a PowerPoint presentation, slide show, or panel discussion, if possible. A compelling presentation will engage your participants.
* Organize a teach-in. Partner with local organizations or activists involved with the issue to provide an educational event for the public.
* Write a Letter to the Editor. Tie your letter into a recent story in your local newspaper. Your letter has a better chance of being selected for publication if it is a response to a recent story or issue. Limit your letter to 150-200 words and keep in mind that the editors may shorten it due to space limitations. Lead with the most important information and then write in short paragraphs, focusing on one main issue. Read other Letters to the Editor to get a sense of how letters are structured. Include your full name, address, phone number and em-mail at the top of the page and sign the letter at the bottom. The paper will need to verify via phone or email. Follow up to see if the letter was received.
* Write an article. Write an article about your experience and submit it to magazines that focus on the issues you are addressing in your article. Keep your story at 800 words or less unless the style guidelines say otherwise. You can always go back and expand.
* Plan your next mission trip. Get others involved.