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Resource 7 Presenting a HIgh Hill Workshop in a Non-Retreat Setting
Here are some things to consider if your group—whether for convenience or to minimize expenses—chooses to meet locally, and stay in their own homes:
- Do we want to meet in a home, in people’s living rooms? Do we have a living space among us that is large enough to accommodate us all, with comfortable seating for everyone? Will participants have a way to write comfortably? Is there “break-out” space for small group or paired conversations? An option to consider is to move from one home to another; you can even ask your host to take you on a tour of the house and to point out the things in it that are significant to them.
- If we decide not to meet in a retreat center, what are our alternatives to people’s homes? Our congregation’s building? A local meeting space, such as a Senior Center, a library, or a private facility we could rent or borrow, such as a condominium complex’s meeting space? Could we do an exchange with another congregation?
- Where will we have meals? Will we eat out at all? How often? Where? Or will our meals be catered and brought in? Can we make a catering arrangement that includes clean-up? Or, will we share in meal preparation, heating and setting out meals we have prepared in advance? Can we ask another High Hill group, or another group in our congregation, to prepare and serve the meals in exchange for us providing them with meals at another time?
The advantage of meeting from your homes is that it is likely to be a low-cost, convenient alternative. It’s familiar; participants get to sleep in their own beds at night and need not travel far. The disadvantage is that in a retreat center everything is done for you and participants can focus completely on the process and one another. Further, being away from home invites a more intimate dynamic, which does make a difference for group interaction.
If you decide to meet in homes, or locally, and people in your group do not know one another well, take a bit more time for “getting acquainted” activities, as you won’t have the built in possibility for intimacy that a retreat center offers.
Resource 3 is a sample “welcome” letter for groups meeting locally. It offers a slightly different perspective than a letter for participants meeting at a retreat center.