Romans 5:5 – and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
The purpose of this session is for young people to reflect on their stories of seeking and experiencing hope and healing, in light of the Christian faith story, in order to guide their positive being and acting in the world.
Youth will engage in a story-linking process by connecting their everyday story with the Christian faith story found in Scripture and in stories of historical figures.
Tune, Romal J. God’s Graffiti: Inspiring Stories for Teens. Valley Forge, PA Judson Press, 2013.
Wimberly, Anne Streaty, and Sarah Frances Farmer. Raising Hope: 4 Paths to Courageous Living for Black Youth. Nashville, TN: General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, 2017.
Wimberly, Anne Streaty. Soul Stories: African American Christian Education. Rev. ed. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2005.
The Hate U Give Study Guide, accessible on: https://www.gradesaver.com/the-hate-u-give/stsudy-guide/summary
There are many ways to engage young people in their everyday story. One way is to use case studies and then help them to reflect on them. Another way is to show a movie or read excerpts of a novel with young people. A clear outline of this process can be found in Soul Stories by Anne Wimberly, which is listed as a resource in the reference section. The time this activity takes will depend on whether this is a follow-up to screening the movie, or whether you decide to use excerpts from the novel in the “Disclose the Everyday Story” portion of this lesson.
Gather (5 minutes)
Prayer and Greeting
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5)
Introduction to the Session
“One of the most sacred things any one can do is to share their story. Stories are revelatory, shedding light on a person’s hopes, dreams, and even where God might be at work in a person’s life. How many of you are pretty open to share your story with others?
Well today, we want to engage in a process called story-linking. The process of story-linking sounds just like its name—we will link stories in order to gain a perspective about how to live and act in the world. We will both hear and share stories with one another. These stories will be our own life stories, stories from the faith tradition, and stories from the African-American faith tradition.
Are you ready? Well, let’s begin!”
Engage (40 minutes)
Activity 1: Disclose the Everyday Story.
Recommendations of excerpted passages might come from Chapters 1 and 10.
“Throughout the book/movie, you can see her identity evolving as different life events happen to her and around her.”
“Look/listen for Starr’s social context—her home, her community, and her school. (It is very clear in the novel that these are where her self-perceptions emerge). How would you say each of these places made a difference in how Starr viewed herself? What would you say are her views of who she is?”
“Look/listen to the circumstances that happen in her life that cause these self-perceptions to emerge. What scenes in her school make Starr think about who she is? What caused the greatest shift in Starr’s views of herself and the world around her? What words would you use to describe the shift that took place in Starr about herself and the world around her?”
“How did Starr’s perception of herself in the beginning of the movie inhibit her from fulfilling her purpose? What changes in her self-identity throughout the narrative liberated her to fulfill her purpose? In what parts of the story would you say hope is lost and found in Starr’s life?”
Activity 2: Critically Reflect on the Case Material
Activity 3: Identify with the Case Study Material
Reflect (10 minutes)
Activity 4: Journaling
Send Forth (5 minutes)
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
This resource includes supplementary materials:
Introduction for Leaders