This intergenerational, interactive gathering is intended for parish or school communities who would like to start a shared conversation on the consistent ethic of life with parents, grandparents, children, siblings, etc. The wording is aimed at families with children up to grade 5, but simple adaptation of some of the language will make it easily usable for groups including middle school and high school youth.
This gathering can be done as a parent/family religious education class, a family night at school or with families whose members are part of a small faith sharing group. The goals of the gathering are two-fold:
1. To present some of the fundamentals of a consistent ethic of life in a manner which challenges family units to consider the many ways this ethic is woven through our faith, and
2. To provide families with continuing opportunities to reflect on what living a consistent ethic of life entails, and discern ways they can put this consistent ethic of life into practice in their daily activities.
Using the image of Joseph’s “long ornamented tunic” (Genesis 37:1-36), frequently referred to as the coat of many colors, this lesson strives to combine the seamless garment imagery familiar to many adults with an image that will be easily understood by children as well.
The Catholic approach to a consistent ethic of life must be seamless in that it acknowledges the inherent God-given dignity present in life at all stages, while honoring the complexity of the various issues which fall into this spectrum. By referring to the ornamented tunic, we acknowledge the importance of the whole (the tunic) while simultaneously identifying the unique characteristics (the ornamentations).