Summary of practicum experience
As this is written, only one class remains in the Community Advocates Program that I’m enrolled in with my wife, Janet.
We gave our Practicum Presentation together at our local Unitarian church three weeks ago to a gathering of over twenty people.
It was a rewarding experience given to a supportive, engaged group and I feel considerably more confident in making future presentations
Next steps envisioned
- Follow-up presentation(s) at 1st Unitarian Church
- Possibly repeat a similar presentation for those who missed the first
- Or restructure the presentation to cover additional material
- One-on-one discussions/mini-presentations to designated individuals
- Look for other individuals or groups in the larger community who might also be interested
- Partner with other Unitarian Universalists to make Riane Eisler’s work more widely known within UU circles
Involvement with other projects that might interest alumni community
Our church is currently involved in an extended series of conversations with respect to who/what we are as a faith community and what we envision ourselves being. A first cut at this work has resulted in the following mission “pillars”
- Growing Spiritually
- Building Community
- Living our Values
Consistent with all three of these is the importance of how we are together. As such we are evolving a behavioral covenant that is being adapted and tested in one of our weekly forums. A simple summary of this might be that we agree to respect one another in our speaking and listening, that we remain open and honest in our participation, and that we commit to supporting the full participation of all others.
It most likely occurs that these values are not so different from the goals of Partnership as described by Riane Eisler. While much of Dr. Eisler’s work is necessarily focused on addressing issues at a more macro level, my special interest is in possibilities for authentic, healthy community at much smaller group “levels”.
Part of that interest is motivated by a sense that the World is as it is because We are as we are. When we forget how inextricably connected we are to the world and then observe its problems, there’s a temptation to focus judgment outwardly. But no matter how open and aware we are, we don’t exist apart from the world. As we grow, our work within the world also grows and our relationships are enriched.
And, finally, another motivation simply comes from the practical reality that conventional economics has done much to diminish community as we increasingly depend on the marketplace for many things that were once provided by local, cooperative efforts. Yet when we make an inventory of untapped resources within even relatively small groups, the tally can be staggering with respect to skills, training and experience that are not being put to use within the group as well as its idle tools and materials. There would seem to be considerable opportunities, as well, for experimenting with new ways of engaging these resources such as the use of local currencies or time banks.