New address: 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210-1409.
In "," a Tapestry of Faith program
Identify and approach potential participants, explaining the program and inviting them to take part. Be inventive, using words and/or pictures you think best describe what is going to happen. Think about why people might want to participate. Explain that this program and the process of writing an Odyssey help us better understand who we are by helping us understand who we have been.
People may say, "Well, it sounds interesting. It sounds like fun, but what will I really get out of all that work?" Here are some possible responses:
When you publicize the program, make sure you include information about the time commitment required, and the specific age range and make-up of your proposed group.
One way to get the word out is an attractive flyer. Find a person who is good at graphic design ask them to create a flyer you can print and distribute. You can also distribute the flyer online. Your graphic designer might even like to join the group!
Flyers that grab attention while being informative are spacious and uncluttered. Here are some considerations:
There are many ways to get the word out. Here is a list to get you started:
If you choose to seek participants beyond your congregation, try these additional suggestions:
There may be an existing group in your congregation, such as a men's group, a women's group, a Seniors group or another affinity group that would like to do From the High Hill as a project. Because group members already know one another, issues of trust and familiarity are likely to be easier. Existing groups will likely be enriched by their shared experiences in the program. If you are a member of an existing group in your congregation and wish to present them with the idea of doing this program, consider these steps:
1. Circulate printed copies of From the High Hill among members of your group or invite them to view the resource online. Tell them you are interested in having the group consider doing the program.
2. Discuss with your group the pros and cons of taking on the program. Bring newsprint and markers to the discussion and record people's ideas. Consider these questions:
Although someone in your group may be an excellent facilitator, they should not be asked to facilitate this program. The person who facilitates is not, should not, and cannot be a member of the group. Facilitators need to be able to focus their full attention on the program activities and agenda and on the process and progress of each individual.
If there are committed couples in your group, talk with the couples about guidelines for the program. Invite them to talk with one another about expectations and work out an agreement for their interaction in the program. Ask them to reach agreement on these questions before beginning the program:
Invite the couple to agree to consult with the facilitator if they need help sorting things out during the program. Recommend that they not be peer writing partners and that they avoid being in the same breakout groups during the retreat weekends.
If you are part of a small congregation, you may wish to invite another congregation in your area and invite them to join you in offering the program. You might consider opening your group to people who are not part of a Unitarian Universalist congregation. If you are a member of a larger congregation, there may be enough congregational interest and staff support to present two or more groups that will run concurrently, or to offer a number of groups at different times. One person, likely a congregational staff member, would be responsible for the oversight of these groups, convening their facilitators regularly in a peer support groups.
To accommodate a large number of participants, whether from a single congregation or from a district or geographic region or cluster, recruit enough facilitators to ensure that there is one for each group of six to ten people. You could have a large number of participants meeting simultaneously, if you have a facilitation "staff" serving basic groups and break out spaces to meet comfortably and privately. In this case, you will need to have staff meetings in preparation for your program and to acquaint facilitators with the materials, exercises, and discussion guidelines and challenges. Plan to involve all program participants in activities such as worship services, openings, and closings.
For more information contact web @ uua.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations.
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Last updated on Saturday, December 10, 2011.
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