Discernment Circle Training for Teams and Committees

Date & time:

  • -

Type of event: Training

Sponsor: Central East Region of the UUA

Graphic of humans of different colors in a circle

Note that this is a three session event. Training will take place on Saturdays, March 20, 27 and April 3, 2021, 12 to 1:30 pm. You need to commit to attending all three sessions.

In response to the report Widening the Circle of Concern, congregations are rethinking aspects of congregational life that reinforce systems of oppression so that our congregations might become welcoming and diverse communities of communities that prioritize inclusivity and purpose.

Many congregations are exploring Dynamic Governance (also known as Sociocracy) as an existing model that offers a way to be inclusive while still being effective. Many intentional communities and progressive organizations have adopted Sociocracy as a governance model.

Instead of recommending that a congregation adopt Sociocracy as a top-down governance change, we are suggesting that congregations start by trying out the circle practices in their committees and teams.

This 3-part training is offered to congregational teams of 2 so that they can--in turn--introduce circles to their congregations. Participants must commit to doing prework for each session so that the live sessions can focus on practicing the concepts. Because of the interactive nature of this training, space is limited.

Cost is $30 for a team of 2. You need to register both members of the team on the form below.

Register Now
There is a limit of 15 congregations for this event. Pre-work will be located on the UU Leadership Institute.

Session overviews

Session 1 - Introduction to Circle Practices - 90 mins

  • Learning Goals:
    • How this fits into Dynamic Governance
    • Vocabulary of Dynamic Governance
    • Consent and Mutuality
    • Creative Interchange
    • Mission and MOCHA
    • Experience a Circle
    • Practice an election circle process
  • Prework:
    • Overview video
    • Election Video
    • Mission and MOCHA video
    • MOCHA sheet
    • What we are focusing on in this training
  • Live Session:
    • Check in & introductions
    • Clarifying question round
    • Practice Election round
    • Closing round

Session 2 - Creating Shared Understanding

  • Learning Goals:
    • Why do we picture-form?
    • When do we picture-form?
    • Aim and Domain (aka Purpose and Zone of Influence)
    • Refer to election, used skills/qualities list.
  • Prework:
    • Why do we picture form?
    • Video of Picture-forming role┬áplay (need to make)
    • Reading
  • Live Session:
    • Check in & introductions
    • Clarifying question round
    • Practice Picture-Forming round
    • Fishbowl: Proposal Round
    • Closing round

Session 3 - Shaping Proposals

  • Learning Goals
    • Radical inclusivity in decision making
    • Range of Tolerance
    • Use of Objections (Mission & MOCHA)
  • Prework:
    • Video of a proposal round role-play
    • Use of Objections
    • Range of tolerance
  • Live Session:
    • Check in
    • Clarifying question round
    • Practice Proposal rounds (small groups, 2 fish bowls)
    • Closing round

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