Help for Facilitators

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Answers to your programming and scheduling questions

QUESTION: Is there an instructor's manual?

Yes! It is built into the curriculum. Each session includes:                                         

  • Recommended advance preparation
  • Step-by-step script and facilitation instructions for each session, including suggested opening and closing meditations
  • Downloadable music and videos
  • Homework assignments and homework research tips   
  • Appendix: Additional facilitation tips                      
  • A “how to” video demonstation for facilitators to introduce the simple drawing/mapping process used to depict and analyze the information gathered about your congregation’s place in the web of life (available here).

QUESTION: Since the curriculum is inter-generational, what age should the youngest participant be?

It is difficult to make a blanket statement about the youngest age for participants. It all depends on the maturity level of the particular young person.  It is best to gauge their willingness to participate in a conversation for up to two hours, to do a bit of reading between sessions, to help with a research assignment, and to think critically about some of their personal choices and values.  In terms of the gravity/complexity of the material, we think that certainly GA Discussion Group !most high school age youth can handle it.  

QUESTION: Is there a minimum or maximum class size?

The processes we use are meant to encourage a lively conversation. It is our experience that it is difficult to truly engage everyone once you rise above about 15-20 people. However, if you are able to interest more people than that in the course, do not discourage them – rejoice! Instead, break the group down into smaller sized units to promote stronger participation and bring everyone back together for pieces where individual conversation is not needed.

QUESTION: What is the optimum schedule? Weekly or monthy?

You have to balance between keeping up momentum (and so offer more frequent sessions) and allowing people enough time to do the homework and make space for this in their often busy lives. We’d recommend that you consider offering this class about twice a month (i.e., skipping a week in between sessions). You could probably go as much as 2-3 weeks between sessions if necessary. You may need more time between Sessions 2 and 3 to allow for research. You may also have a “lumpy” schedule if you are able to book some site visits or off-site conversations with other groups about a particular issue. Finally, because Session 5 is the big wrap-up where we recommend you include some sort of meal as part of the time together, this may need some special scheduling as well. The curriculum is constructed as a 5-session, 2-hour class. If you want to format it as a 1 hour class, then you may be able to offer it more frequently--just plan ahead more for certain homework assignments to give people sufficient advance warning and time to complete them.

GA Discussion Group 2QUESTION: Is it helpful to keep the same facilitator for all sessions?

We recommend a facilitation team of 2-3 people who are there for all sessions. In this scenario, the ideal would be to switch facilitators for different sections within a particular session as well as between sessions. This will allow you to have someone watching time and group process and/or someone acting as a “scribe” to take newsprint notes while a second or third person is taking the lead in facilitating a particular session.  This makes facilitation much more fun, enjoyable, and effective!

QUESTION: If I have questions now or during the curriculum, whom do we contact?

Email us at office@uuministryforearth. We’ll be happy to follow-up with you! This is what your donations help to finance.


Miss an introductory webinar? Here is a slide set and audio:

Our Place in the Web of LIfe slide set from webinars on Sept. 20 and Oct. 15, 2011 (PDF version 394KB).

Audio recording of the second webinar on Oct. 15 (mp3 file, 25 MB).