Our model is a simple and wonderful method for connecting with people outside your UU community who want to work alongside us. The first thing you need to start your own covenanted community is a couple people with contacts of potentially-interested folks both inside and outside UU congregations. These point people can get in touch with us and we will begin working with you by phone, email, and video to set up an exploratory weekend. This “Ignite” weekend consists of our lead minister Rev. Nato traveling to your area to meet with point people on Friday evening, to facilitate an exploratory workshop with as many people (UU and non-) as possible on Saturday, and on Sunday to preach and hold a forum at a nearby UU congregation. The goal of this weekend is twofold: to identify a core group of organizers, and to garner the support of local UUs and their congregations. Alternatively, we can provide you with materials to facilitate your own exploratory workshop.
After a successful Ignite weekend, our leaders will continue working with your core group to get things rolling. We provide bi-weekly coaching on forming Circles and beginning to host Gatherings and Building days, program materials for those sessions, facilitator training, and general advisement as needed. Once you’ve been Circling and Gathering for a few months, and can get firm commitments of at least 15 people, you can invite us out to do our foundational “Sacred Fire” weekend workshop with you.
The Sacred Fire workshop covers topics of relationalism and interconnection, wholeness, covenantal theology, anti-oppression, transformation, and the spiritual practices of interdependence and solidarity. It is vital in connecting group members more deeply with one another, giving us a mutual understanding of the work we’re doing and tools with which to do it, and providing a common alignment for our communities. The workshop runs Friday evening until Sunday afternoon, and can include providing a worship service in a nearby congregation.