Dear Colleagues, February 15, 2017
I invite you to attend the first Companioning Circles© Retreat at The Mountain Retreat and Learning Centers (August 14-18, 2017). We have given it the title “Cultivating Presence & Connection through Companioning.” The retreat will be co-led by Trudy Deyle (a Tallahassee UU lay leader) and me. If you are not able to attend, possibly a couple of your skilled small group facilitators or pastoral associates are looking for a deep form of small group experience. That desire for depth prompted me to develop Companioning Circles: to nurture presence and deepening in supportive heart-spaces.
This approach differs from traditional UU Small Group Ministry circles. It resembles Parker Palmer’s “Circles of Trust”©, but Companioning Circles© offer more attention to developing mutual presence, contemplative centering, and deep dialogue. Wisdom lessons (stories, poems, more) are also incorporated as reminders of spiritual integrity.
Would these needs draw you or a lay leader to our August retreat?
· Experiencing a new approach for deeply connecting within our congregations.
· Learning to live from a place of authentic mutual presence
· Awakening the flow of energy that develops your true self
· Being held with respect, reverence and empathic love
· Being heard, seen, and acknowledged from the heart
· Feeling the receptive power of self as “soft and soulful”
Companioning Circles have been in development for two years. Last year they were piloted and refined in three settings. This approach is now ready to be shared. We are starting with UU congregations and leaders who long for a retreat where they can deepen their relational presence through practices of soulful grounding and deeply felt dialogue.
There are now four Companioning Circles moving forward: two in a UU congregation and two in a community setting. Refinements and facilitator guidelines are being developed. A Companioning Circles Handbook will be available by the August retreat.
As you discern this new possibility, we will answer any questions you have. This venture is, quite honestly, exciting, and we hope it will be for you, too! After attending, you will have the basics for developing a Companioning Circle© in your home congregation.
The Mountain link to the retreat: http://themountainrlc.org/event/cultivating-presence-connection-through-companioning/
Trudy and I can be reached by phone or email. Rev. Roy Reynolds (770-375-8417) firstname.lastname@example.org and Trudy Deyle (850-591-7213) Trudydeyle@gmail.com