Dignity Serves

Dignity Serves teaches you how to properly engage the talents of others (you are wanting to help).
It’s about us not getting in the way of allowing God’s image in people to shine forth. One-way giving tends to not respect the dignity of those being served.
The purpose of the Dignity Serves curriculum is to challenge the perceptions that support indifference or condescension to the world around us.
The primary goal of this study is for each individual to discover the concepts of dignified service and, in the process, nurture a servant’s heart. 
Each of the six lessons is designed to expose something that is obstructing the heart from truly engaging  in good works.
  1. The tendency to look down on others
  2. The tendency to focus solely on problems (and therefore to design programs where people become our projects)
  3. Ignoring the pain of those nearbydownload (2)
  4. Dismissing unjust social structures 
  5. Managing our time
  6. Valuing change over people
Each lesson has a title, a gift of God, and a related key principle.
Lesson Title God’s Gift Principle
1
The Importance of People
Dignity
All people bear God’s Image
2
The Realization of Assets
Assets
Everyone has something to offer.
3
The Relevance of Place
Presence
The closer to the problem, the closer to the  solution.
4
The Power of Structures
Grace
The greater the cultural difference, the longer the time to trust.
5
The Impact of Commitment
Hope
Our desired impact should be matched with commitment.
6
The Promise of Change
Love
People are more important than change.
Example: Lesson 1 teaches that since everyone is important the ideal context for meeting human needs is dignified interdependent relationships. An application might be – instead of providing a soup kitchen where all of the food and workers are from the church or organization and all of those receiving food are simply taking the food, eating and leaving to arranging for those being fed to join with others to provide and serve the food. In this way everyone is engaged in getting to know one another, everyone’s gifts are being accessed, the joy of giving and receiving is enjoyed by all and all are serving and being served with dignity.
The lessons are designed to experientially instruct participants how to serve others in a way that honors God, preserves the dignity of both parties, and fosters the type of interdependence that is characteristic of authentic and healthy relationships.
Upon completion, participants will be drawn closer to God and each other; will become more creative and relational in their service; will engage as true neighbors where they live, work, and worship; and will serve others with patience, respect, and commitment.

Temple of Peace and Truth in the Spirit Dignity Serves Workshop, Southeast Newport News, Va – April, 2017
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” I found the experience of Dignity Serves to be one that fosters deep reflection and soul searching about Christian service. This not only applies to the individuals who participate, but also to the participating organizations, as some of the exercises simulate congregational consideration for examination and changes in ministry.”

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