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In "," a Tapestry of Faith program
Opening (5 minutes)
Use your established opening ritual. Or, light the chalice and share this reading by Kimberly Beyer-Nelson, "This Is How We Are Called."
In the hours before the birds stream airborne with chiming voice,
a silent breath rests in the pines,
and upholds the surface of the lake as if it were a fragile bubble in the very hand of God.
And I think, this is how we are called:
To cup our hands and hold this peace,
even when the sirens begin,
even when sorrow cries out, old and gnarled,
even when words grow fangs and rend.
Cupped hands gently open,
supporting peace like the golden hollow of a singing bowl,
like the towering rim of mountains cradling this slumbering and mist-draped valley.
Tell the group the structure for this session (Check-In, Focus, Questions, etc.).
Check-In (25 minutes)
Invite participants to a structured check-in. Ask everyone to state their name, why they want to facilitate, and a hope and a fear about facilitation. Post a blank sheet of newsprint and tell participants you will record the fears (but not the names associated with the fears) for an activity in the next training session. Ask for a minute of silence before beginning so participants can settle their thoughts. Let the check-in unfold with very little facilitation to see how people experience it. Note the fears, briefly, as participants name them. When all have checked in, ask:
Wrap-up by lifting up these big ideas behind listening:
Pull out any other summative thoughts that came up. Tell participants that as the facilitator, they will model and nurture deep listening skills in the group.
Focus (20 minutes)
Place a "talking stick" (any object that is safe and easy to handle) in center of the circle. Invite people to take the talking stick as they feel moved to share a few sentences that speak to these questions: What is sacred? How do we create sacred space? Only the person holding the object should speak. When they are done, they may return the talking stick to the center for the next person who is moved to speak.
Start with silence. Unfold the discussion with very little facilitation to see how people experience it.
Questions (10 minutes)
Activities (20 minutes)
Discuss the small group ministry session elements you have posted on newsprint. Note that this list describes the format of this session, and the sessions participants will lead as facilitators. Using a sample session if you wish, review each element in light of what is expected of facilitators:
Then, cover these important facilitator duties:
Discuss the idea of a service project, including whether it is mandatory or suggested. Provide resources and ideas for facilitators to take to the small group for consideration. Include past service projects.
Check-Out (5 minutes)
Closing (5 minutes)
Divide the group into teams of two to prepare for the next training session. For homework, ask each team to bring to the next meeting a short opening, a closing, and a focus topic for discussion.
Use your established closing ritual. Or, invite facilitators to read aloud together Reading 687 from the hymnbook Singing the Living Tradition (Boston: Unitarian Universalist Association, 1993).
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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