The blog on this month’s Social Faith comes courtesy of Alexandra Merisotis. Alex is currently pursuing her Master’s in Nursing at Emory University.
It’s Thursday night, I picked up my friend Nick, as we headed to ATL Social Faith. We arrived at the parish of St. John the Wonderworker to find Fr. Paul Lundberg eating good old fashioned southern barbeque out in the courtyard with the rest of our Social Faith friends. The sun was going down over beautiful Grant Park, and the sound of peepers were our background music. It was a perfect warm Atlanta night for faith and fellowship.
ATL Social Faith, with the love and guidance of Fr. Paul, is a growing ministry for young adults in Atlanta. This ministry though, is a little bit different. At ATL Social Faith not only do we discuss the faith, we also discuss our every-day secular lives. There is no presenter; just someone reading questions related to the topic, meant to spark a little conversation between adults. It is a completely casual gathering. Also, although the ministry is sponsored by the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Atlanta, the ministry is open to all Orthodox living in the greater Atlanta area. Every month, we get the opportunity to visit a new church!
This week, our topic was “Money & Faith”. At first, I was wondering what the conversation would be like: was this going to be a talk about stewardship, or money management? Just how does the Orthodox Faith fit in with this? Fr. Paul opened our conversation with this food-for-thought:
“There are 3-4 times more verses in the Bible about money than there are about prayer, which means we should probably talk about money and faith more than we do.”
WOW. That is a bold statement. But, clearly money and faith is an important topic. We had a lovely conversation about this topic guided by the following questions:
- People have different styles of shopping. How do you typically shop?
- What are your priorities, and how does that affect your budget?
- One study found that for most young adults, money is related to a desire for independence, comfort, security, or contentment. Which of these words resonates most strongly with you, or is there another thing for you that money is more strongly related to?
- What would you do if you unexpectedly inherited $100,000 from a distant relative?
- A sociological study found that most young adults feel like they’re broke, whether they are actually out of money or not. What do you think might contribute to this feeling?
- How does your faith affect the way you think about money and what you do with it?
So our topics this week were mostly more about our personal lives outside of the church. It was a great discussion because we ended up realizing how the church guides our decisions with our money in our secular lives. Perhaps the two entities cannot be completely separate after all.
ATL Social Faith meets the last Thursday of every month. Please like us on Facebook to stay up to date on our next gathering! I hope to see you there!