CGNews Issue #87
I just sent out CGNews Issue #87. You can view the message as it was sent here or read the posts below.
It has been a little while since CGNews has gone out. All quiet on the UU small group front? Not a chance! The board of the UU SGM Network has been working hard on planning for General Assembly and getting incorporating us as a non-profit. More on this below. This is particularly exciting for me as it happened magically while I've been busy commuting to Boston every day. I'm doing an eight month training in television/digital film so I can be an even bigger UU church geek and spend my life flooding the internet with UU media. I plan on dragging our movement into the 21st century. I'll be sure to make some small group related materials while I'm at it. Feel free to send me any special requests.
On to what the majority of you really want - group sessions. This is still the hottest item on our site. Those of you hungry for peace, justice and small group sessions will be happy to know the following:
1. The UUSC is developing a series of small group ministry modules related to their social justice campaigns. I spoke with the UUSC intern working on this project again this morning. Carie Johnson reports that of the four modules being published, two will be distributed at GA. One on Civil Liberties. The other on the genocide in Darfur. These resources are scheduled to be on their website this May. The UUSC will let me know as soon as they go online and I'll pass the word on to you. Keep posted!
2. Judy Morgan of the Peacemaking Congregational Study Action Issue Core Team has announced that small group ministry sessions based on the peacemaking Study Action Issue are now online. You can read more about these sessions and find the link below. I have not had a chance to read over these, though I did speak with members of that team before the sessions were produced.
My take on these efforts?
I think they represent a step forward for our movement -- provided the sessions are well done. Small groups are the ideal place to reflect on the spiritual, moral and ethical issues underlying the problems of our world. I think that if we discuss these issues we will find the strength to take action. We can't go on like we are.
As organizations realize that small group ministry sessions are a great way to engage with UU's across our association -- be it the UUSC, CSW, or others -- we need to make sure that the resources they produce stay true to the purposes of this ministry. It is a fine line. Ever have your congregation's stewardship committee want to canvass people in their small group meetings? From my conversations with representatives from the UUSC and the CSW these organizations are working hard to honor the nature of this ministry while trying to get us to wake up and engage with a big long list of critical issues. This weekend I went to a used bookstore that had a wall of books labeled "See what happened while you weren't looking" -- I won't go into the contents of the shelf. Needless to say, genocide and the need for peacemaking were represented. I bet you could name some more...
I love small groups and I want to change our world. I suspect that you do to. If so I hope you'll take the time to give these new session resources a look and tell me what you think of them.
Peter Freedman Bowden