Reflection, both personal and guided, form the heart of the Faith in Action Award. Although receipt of a Faith in Action Award depends largely upon the number of service credits accrued, ensuring young people are given the time and space to reflect on their service is integral to this scheme. This is achieved through both guided Reflection Points and participants keeping a personal journal.
Making space for reflection gives young people the opportunity to engage with, and explore, God's story and the Church's story, which in turn will help strengthen the foundations of their personal faith journey.
The Faith in Action Award marries both learning and experience and then allows young people the time to reflect upon how their learning and experience has had an effect upon them. In this respect, the reflection element of the Faith in Action Award is an implementation of the Pastoral Cycle:
Guided Reflection is designed to be flexible, allowing schools and parishes to deliver it in a way that best suits the needs of both of their participants and them as an organisation. Reflections should be delivered in a creative and engaging way. Each reflection point requires three objectives to be met: explore, understand and reflect. However, there is no right or wrong way of delivering a Reflection Point, so long as the objectives are fulfilled.
Reflection Points are based on themes on love and service; there are two strands within each theme.
- We are loved
- Loving our neighbour
- Building the Kingdom of God
- Servant Leadership
Across an award year, participants must take part in a total of 6 hours of guided reflection, led by an adult. There is a minimum requirement of two reflection points, one from each theme. The reflection points can be split into shorter sessions, as long as the total time amounts to 6 hours. Award Leaders may wish to plan four 90 minute sessions using all four strands. Reflection Points are undertaken as a group.
The Faith in Action award facilitates a Christian commitment to the community. In the context of their service to their local and wider community, participants are encouraged to reflect upon how their faith, when put into action, shapes not only them but the rest of society.
Format of Reflection Points
2. The Good News
A piece of scripture, relevant to the theme of the reflection point, can be read in order to reinforce the theme and to give participants an initial insight into how their acts of service are part of a bigger picture. For example, if using the theme of love, the piece of scripture could be John 15:12-17 - "This is my commandment, love one another, as I have loved you..."
3. The Church Story
This element of the Reflection Point allows young people to engage with the Church's teachings of love and service. This can be done by listening to extracts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, quotes from the Holy Father & Apostolic Exhortations, and by learning more about how Saints and other exemplary Christians responded to their vocation by serving others.
4. Personal Story
Young people are given the chance to share their recent experience and Faith in Action journey in light of the key texts and stories they have listened to. This gives them chance to reflect on what all of the above says about faith and what it is saying to them.
Providing a simple activity for the young people to participate in will help them to engage more fully with scripture, the Church's story and their personal story. Activities could include team building exercises, discussion between participants, arts and craft activities, mind-mapping, or writing.
The reflection points should conclude with a liturgy. Doing so will help remind participants that their acts of love and service are directly related to their personal calling from God.
The format for Reflection Points is based on the good practice through modelling the RCIA model of Catechesis. This includes:
- The Good News - Sacred Scripture
- The Church Story - Teachings of the Church (Catholic Social Teaching, Apostolic Exhortations etc) and the stories of the lives of the Holy men and women
- Personal Story - The personal reflection of the participants based upon their experience
Reflection Point downloads are available for registered users.