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January 8, 2002

CGNews #41

An occasional newsletter about a new/old way of organizing your church read by 852 forward-looking Unitarian Universalists.

The Rev. Mark Christian, the recently called minister of 1st Unitarian Church of Oklahoma City, has been the History and Heritage staff person for our SWUUC leadership school in past years, and one of the most popular parts of his presentation was always his 'UU Jeopardy' session. In case there is anyone who does not know, 'Jeopardy' is a daytime TV game show which gives answers and asks contestants to provide questions appropriate to those answers. (Why? Don't ask. No sane person knows.)

Now, Mark has turned his Jeopardy talents to Covenant Group Ministry, and what he calls 'a shamelessly promotional skit publicizing Covenant Group Facilitator Training.' Our OKC church has a half-dozen or more groups going strong, and Mark hopes to see that many more start soon. His skit should at least let people know about the requisite Facilitator Training and do it in a light-hearted, relatively painless way. Some of the references are 'inside jokes;' and Mark urges any users of this skit to edit in their own: 'I think it is important to localize this for it have it's best effect.'


By the Rev. Mark Christian

Host -- Good Morning and welcome to today's edition of Unitarian Jeopardy. I'm your host Reverend Ben Here. I'd like to welcome our three contestants.

Our first contestant is an independent Belly Dancing contractor whose hobbies include Transdimentional Meditation and Sky surfing: Mr. R.D. Vaark.

Our second contestant is a specialist in the construction and rental of Golden Dome Buildings: Allotta Committee. Her hobbies include fish farming, spelunking and power napping.

Our third contestant this morning is Wanda Offalone. She's a bull rider by trade and an expert in Japanese Bonsai Kites in her spare time. Let's get right to our game.

Our categories today are:

  • 'Things Unitarians Can Do'
  • 'Things Unitarians Might Do'
  • 'Things Unitarians Could Do' and
  • 'Unitarians Do Do.'

Wanda, please start us off.

Contestant #1 -- Thanks. I'll take Things Unitarians Can Do for 100.

Host -- And the answer is 'These groups, gaining in popularity, usually consist of about 10 people.'

Contestant #2 (Making Buzzing Noise) -- What is: the Apostles of Jesus Christ?

Host -- A good and popular group for sure, Mr. Vaark, but not the question we're looking for.

Contestant #3 (Buzzing Noise) -- What is: the Downstairs, Sunday Morning, Coffee and Donut Crew?

Host -- No I'm afraid not, Ms. Committee.

Contestant #1 (Buzzing Noise) -- What are Covenant Groups?

Host -- Yes, Wanda and you have control of the board.

Contestant #1 -- I'll take 'Things Unitarians Could Do' for 100.

Host -- All right, the answer is: 'Covenant Groups are coordinated by these.'

Contestant #3 (Buzzing Noise) -- Who is God Almighty, Jehovah, the Maker of Heaven and Earth?

Host -- Well, an interesting answer for a professing agnostic, but no.

Contestant #1 -- Who is our church president?

Host -- I'm sorry Ms. Offalone, but Judges say no, but that is a substantial improvement over your last attempt.

Contestant #2 (Buzzing Noise) -- Who is just about anyone?

Host -- That's right, RD. Covenant Group Facilitators can be just about anyone. You have control of the board.

Contestant #2 -- I'll take 'Unitarians Do Do' for 200.

Host -- I thought you might. This is the most common characteristic of a covenant group facilitator.

Contestant #2 (Buzzing Noise) -- What is They are smarter than everyone else in the group?

Host -- Uh, No, ant breath -- I mean Mr. R.D. Vaark.

Contestant #1 (Buzzing Noise) -- Who is the person who has been the Unitarian for the longest?

Host -- Not even close.

Contestant #3 (Buzzing Noise) -- What is someone who is willing to keep members of the Covenant Group informed about meeting times and places?

Host -- Amazingly, Yes! That is really the most difficult part of being a Covenant Group Facilitator. And that moves us into final jeopardy. The final Jeopardy Category is New Covenant Groups and Their Facilitators.

Contestant #1 (Interrupting) -- We're not sure what the answer will be, but the question is 'What new Covenant Groups will be forming and who will their facilitators be?'

Contestant #2 -- Next Saturday morning we'll be training facilitators we'll gather for coffee, juice and bagels at about 8:30 and we'll conclude with a soup luncheon at noon.

Contestant #3 -- A Covenant Group can focus on just about anything that Unitarian Universalists can do together. We plan to have new groups on Spiritual Journeys, Deep Listening, Fun with Fabric and more.

Contestant #1 -- If there is a Covenant Group you'd like to see in our church come to the facilitator training or talk to any one of us.

Contestant #2 -- We will be signing up people for our new groups and adding some people to some of the existing groups in the next few weeks. More information about our new Covenant Groups can be found in the newsletter and here at church in a week or so.

Contestant #3 - Remember to attend the facilitator training this Saturday morning. You can call the church office for more details.

-- The Rev. Mark Christian

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The Rev. Robert. L. Hill,
District Executive for the SW District, UUA,
713 660-7164