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Flow of the Second Two-Day Retreat (Tapestry of Faith)

In "," a Tapestry of Faith program

Odyssey Presentations

Objective: Participants present their Odysseys.

Preparation: Arrange the Odyssey space so there is comfortable seating for all. Provide both a lectern or music stand and a table, so presenters can choose to stand or sit when presenting. Make sure the sound system is in order and that someone knows how to adjust microphone height and volume to accommodate different presenters. Post the agenda.

Description: Gather the group and say:

Each of you is going to present your life story to a room of trusted companions on this journey. They, in turn, will entrust you with their stories. Your responsibility when you are a listener is to pay attention. If you practice profound listening, the Odysseys will thrill and amuse and move you. By listening carefully and deeply, you have the opportunity to enhance this Odyssey experience for the one who is presenting, as well deepen your understanding of your own life. As the Odysseys unfold, who knows what miracles may occur!

Activity 1: Afterward (30 minutes)

Objective: Participants evaluate the experience of preparing and presenting an Odyssey.

Preparation: Arrange for celebratory refreshments for after all Odysseys are presented. Write these sentences on newsprint and post:

  • I learned that...
  • I was surprised that...
  • I was moved when...
  • I wish I had...

Description: Share celebratory refreshments. Say:

Congratulations! You have presented your life story to a room full of people who support you and care about you. You have listened deeply to their questions and answered them thoughtfully and truthfully, with love and compassion. You may have put together a written reflection on your life. What a remarkable achievement! How many people do you know, other than those in our group, who have done this? Let's soak in the experience for a moment. Breathe, and let's be silent for a time.

Invite participants to complete the posted sentences in their journals or on a piece of paper, sharing their observations and comments with one another as they are moved to do so. Then, suggest they complete the same four sentences a day or two after getting home, once they have had more time to reflect, and compare the two sets of responses.

Activity 2: What I Do Not Wish to Leave Undone (20 minutes)

Objective: Participants begin to create lists of what they don't want to leave undone.

Preparation: Arrange for celebratory refreshments after all Odysseys are presented. Write these sentences on newsprint and post:

  • I learned that...
  • I was surprised that...
  • I was moved when...
  • I wish I had...

Description: Say:

In the process of preparing, writing, and presenting your Odyssey, you may have begun to think about those things you do not wish to leave undone.

Invite participants to title a new page in their journals "What I Do Not Wish to Leave Undone." Ask them to begin their list, if they are ready, or to begin thinking about what might go on the list. Point out that the participant guide offers suggestions for creating a list and making action plans to follow up.

Closing Worship

Objective: Provide closure for the retreat and the program, and invite further reflection and exploration.

Description: Close the retreat with the worship service facilitators have planned.

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

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Last updated on Saturday, December 10, 2011.

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