Sunday, October 14, 2008
In this issue --- A report and some questions from Kathy Foldes, UUCCWC Hillsboro, Oregon, about using short-term groups organized around different themes, opportunities to order two new publications and some fall workshops offered by Rev. M'ellen Kennedy.
Covenant Group News is a free electronic newsletter on Small Group Ministry and Covenant Groups read by 1300 forward-looking Unitarian Universalists. CGNews is distributed by the UU Small Group Ministry Network. Visit us online at http://www.smallgroupministry.net.
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I'm glad to be in communication with you again as many of your congregations are starting your fall programs. I know many of you start all of your group up each fall and that others open many new groups.
Many of you stopped by the UU Small Group Ministry Network booth at GA in June. We heard many wonderful stories from more than 100 different congregations. Considering spending a few hours in the UU SGM Network booth answering questions and listening to stories at GA next year.
The Small Group Ministry Institute at The Mountain in August was attended by 39 people from 24 congregations. Participants were very generous in their praise for the Institute, both the for quality of the sessions and the wonderful interactions. The Faculty, Rev. Helen Zidowecki, Susan Hollister, Walter LeFlore, and I, learned as much as we taught. It was a peak experience. The Network will continue to offer week-long national conferences, as well as shorter workshops.
The Network is all about sharing. Send us your sessions and your ideas.
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Small Group Ministry continues to bring intimacy and ultimacy to participants and growth to congregations that embrace it. The spiritual practices of deep listening and true acceptance are spilling over into congregational life and congregations are growing, in maturation, as well as in numbers.
In faith that we're making this a better world,
Diana Diana Dorroh,
President, UU Small Group Ministry Network
Editor, CG News
* FROM KATHY FOLDES, UUCCWC HILLSBORO, OREGON
* CALL FOR SHARING
* FACILITATOR TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT MANUAL
* UU SMALL GROUP MINISTRY COMPILATION
* SOME WORKSHOPS BY M'ELLEN KENNEDY
FROM KATHY FOLDES, UUCCWC HILLSBORO, OREGON
My church is going to start several short Cov Groups centering around a particular theme (for example, Buddhism, Spirit of Life, Welcoming Congregation) next fall. We have had church year length Cov Groups for 7 years. The purpose of the shorter, limited number of sessions for these new Cov Groups is to include more people- people who are new, people who know they can't make a longer commitment, people who want to try Cov Groups, people who share a passion. We would like input from those of you who have experience with this format. Some questions that would be helpful to answer are:
• How do you explain the difference between these and a class?
• Between these and a discussion or book group?
• Between these and an interest group such as a knitting group, a Circle • Supper or a fellowship small group?
• How have these gone for you?
• Have they led to more involvement in longer term Cov Groups?
• Have they led to more involvement by new people in the church in other activities?
• Tips and traps?
Thanks so much,
Kathy Foldes, UUCCWC Hillsboro, Oregon
CALL FOR SHARING
Please send in your answers to Kathy's questions.
FACILITATOR TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT MANUAL
Facilitator Training Manual
By Diana Dorroh and Susan Hollister
NEW Fall 2008 SGM Program Ministers and Coordinators: This guide for implementing an in-house training and development program covers facilitator selection, initial training, on-going facilitator support, and enrichment training. Included in the manual is the Facilitator's Guide, a training module to customize for your program, use in your training sessions and distribute to all group leaders. The manual will help ensure the growth and health of your Small Group Ministry program as you prepare facilitators and support them in successful group leadership.
UU SMALL GROUP MINISTRY COMPILATION
Unitarian Universalist Small Group Ministry
By the Rev. Helen Zidowecki.
NEW Unitarian Universalist Small Group Ministry is a compilation includes 50 articles that have appeared in the UU Small Group Ministry Network Quarterly and on the website in the last five years, as well as several new items, especially on religious education. Content includes discussion of SGM in general, oversight, the role of ministers and shared ministry, facilitation, groups, session plans, visibility and uses of small group ministry. June 2008. $25 plus shipping.
*SOME WORKSHOPS BY M'ELLEN KENNEDY