In a typical weekly meeting, the participants gather either in a large group at the parish facilities or in small groups in people’s homes. People greet each other and have coffee/tea. One advantage of smaller groups (whether they gather in the Parish Hall or in homes) is that people tend to connect with each other at a deeper level. But many people are more comfortable in a larger group. Each parish decides which way best suits their availability of facilitators and the composition of their group(s).
The facilitator announces that the DVD portion of the meeting will begin, and shows the current week’s presentation by Dr. Atkinson. The participants watch the DVD, while following along in their Guide for Participants – which provides extensive outlines and notes that are carefully linked to the DVD presentation. Note: There are time signatures in the Guide for Participants which make it easier for the facilitator to locate a specific area on the dvd if it comes up for review later in the small group discussions.
15-20 minutes, or as determined by facilitator
Small group discussions follow immediately after the dvd presentation. Some parishes may choose to have a number of small groups; some may prefer a larger group. We have provided questions for both small and large groups; they are indicated accordingly in the Guidebook. (Many find it easier to share in smaller groups, as relationships build over the weeks together.)
Each small group should have a person to facilitate the discussion.
The questions tend to be open-ended, inviting discussion. Questions often deal with where participants are coming from, how the teaching affected them, and where they hope to be.
The facilitators are a key component here. They help people to share appropriately, determine when to
bring the discussion to an end, or sense when the sharing should continue.
Prayer at close of session. This should include some personal petitions, as well as the formal set prayer tied to the session’s theme, which is provided.
Total Time for Each Session
60– 70 minutes