IDWM Cabinet Meeting — Resources, Harvest — January 2009

Great Newsletter with stories and appreciation from participants (select Newsletters, then February 2009)

Photos, Best of
Photos, Flipcharts and Harvest Sheets
Photos, All
Movies, A little glimpse into some of the spirit and community present

Invitation 1: Invitation to be in something New
Invitation 2: Invitation to be wise

Resource Book: 16 Page version of core models

Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister, sermon at Obama Inauguration (select from the list of all prayer service proceedings): We used this to invite people to hear the invitation spoken not only to President Obama, but to Disciples Women.

Agreements Harvest: What one priniciple would you suggest for working collaboratively in beauty? (Created on http://www.wordle.net/)

Open Space Harvest: What questions and issues capture your imagination that could make a difference in the future of Women’s Ministries? (Created on http://www.wordle.net/)

Action Open Space Harvest: What first next steps are you committed to taking? (Created on http://www.wordle.net/)
Powerful Next Steps: Specific plans for next steps from the Action Open Space

Appreciations for the work of our team from Adonna Bowman, Executive Director

“What an incredible time we had in Greensboro! Your IDWM Executive Committee was overwhelmed with your openness to allowing God’s spirit to so fully permeate everything that happened during our Cabinet and Staff Fellowship meetings. From the level of energy displayed, the 30+ marketplace topics lifted up, exploring safe spaces in World Café, developing deeper relationships with one another, finding our passions, committing to furthering God’s work through us in our churches and communities, and finding and dwelling in our heart centers – this was one extraordinary gathering. Disciples Women Cabinet meeting 2009 will go down in the annals of our history as a birthing place for new and vital ministry and it couldn’t have happened without you!

YOU are such a gift in my life. Last week (or has it been two weeks now?) was one of the most amazing experiences and truly a dream realized for me. God has answered prayers and orchestrated this coming together of kindred spirits to further the ministry to which we are each called.

Tenneson, thank you for this amazing harvest. We will definitely use this as we move forward into letting everything that happened resonate deeper and see what rises to the surface. Don’t know about you all, but for me, I can’t wait until our next gathering of spirits.”

International Disciples Women’s Ministries — Resources and Harvests

Invitation 1: Invitation to be in something New
Invitation 2: Invitation to be wise

Resource Book: 16 Page version of core models

Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister, sermon at Obama Inauguration (select from the list of all prayer service proceedings): We used this to invite people to hear the invitation spoken not only to President Obama, but to Disciples Women.

Agreements Harvest: What one priniciple would you suggest for working collaboratively in beauty? (Created on http://www.wordle.net/)

Open Space Harvest: What questions and issues capture your imagination that could make a difference in the future of Women’s Ministries? (Created on http://www.wordle.net/)

Action Open Space Harvest: What first next steps are you committed to taking? (Created on http://www.wordle.net/)
Powerful Next Steps: Specific plans for next steps from the Action Open Space

Tag, We’re It

Tag, You’re It! These are the words that Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins of the Disciples of Christ spoke to President Obama at the prayer service, part of the inaugeration ceremonies. She named the immense responsibility that Obama carries. She spoke it with support and invitation to lead from his center.
Tag, We’re It! — This is what the Disciples Women, International Disciples Women’s Ministries spoke and invited of each other at their cabinet meeting that I was able to cohost with Teresa Posakony, Patti Case, Judy Row, Adonna Bowman, and Shirley Cannon over the last five days. This is a remarkable group of 110 women for this meeting,
During the last 10 days,

Lisa Heft on Hosting Large Open Space Meetings

Hi, Martin –

(Martin has asked for tips for a 600-or-so person Open Space event)

So – As part of Christine Whitney Sanchez’ wonderful team for the Girl Scouts USA event, I facilitated a pre-conference Open Space for 700+ people.
(I smile when I think of your comments, Harrison – I, too have done OS for 2,000 so to me 5-600 sounds like a breeze. But Martin – it’s new until you have done it a few times, eh? And we are all happy to help).

The hotel ballroom I used for that was (according to the hotel) about 21,000 square feet – though it was a bit long rather than square. Being a person who absorbs information by graphics and not by numbers, this does not help me and I usually ask the site to see if they can help by creating a to-scale diagram of the room-sets we are discussing, to see if it all works as we discuss our variations before settling on one.

In very large events, I find that it may not be possible to have an opening circle set-up as a circle (or concentric rings) -and also- the ability to set up 50+ discussion areas.
Elements influencing this may be the size of the room, time it takes to move across the room, fire codes and safety issues, and so on.

So. On this list we have shared so many experiences about what-ifs regarding room set-up, and we have collectively found that the circle – for opening and closing – is essential. As not all rooms alow that, we have collectively found that the *feeling* of circle and the facilitator’s body use to *imply* and set that circle is essential.
Therefore, in large events / spaces – think about this:

(for those of you who think graphically, take a piece of paper – write ‘Agenda Wall’ at the top, make a little square in the center, and then draw a ‘cross’ bisecting the page from top to bottom and from left to right)

· I have the Agenda Wall along one very long, approachable wall (like always).

· I have the site set up a small platform in the center of the room upon which I stand (so everyone can see me and know where the sound is coming from when I speak).

· I have the room set up as pre-set circles of chairs (zero tables of course), allowing for a good wide ‘cross’-shaped aisle bisecting the room (my platform is in the center of that cross, one ‘arm’ leads to the Agenda wall and on the other three ‘arms’ are…topics tables…see below).

· In the other three ‘arms’ of the cross-shaped aisles (not the one leading to the Agenda Wall) I have – in each of those – three or four rectangular tables touching/in a line to form in each aisle one very long table. On these tables I have pre-set many markers, plus many topic signs. If the time is short I pre-affix the little time/space post-its to those topic signs, if not I put those post-its to the side of the Agenda Wall in the usual way. At the center end of these sign-making stations I position a microphone on a stand. I also hold a microphone.

· In the center of every of the 50+ circles of chairs I have a location sign (such as “A” or “AA”), notes-taker forms, and sign-in sheets to pass during a discussion.
(there are more than 50 possible conversations of course, as you have your different session times x number of discussion circles – the numbers of discussion circles depends on the size of the room – for large groups I like to imagine my group size divided by 15 to imagine how many discussion areas – others do this differently)

· On the walls (for visibility and help with traffic in a very large room) I have big signs that say things like “A through N” so one can look across the room and know where to walk to.

People start by coming into the room and sitting anywhere – in any one of those little circles of chairs.
I open, explain process and guidelines, from my little platform in the center.
I invite people to come to the sign-making tables, make a topic sign, come to their microphone, announce their topic, and post it on the Agenda Wall.

As people do this I indicate each next speaker, in the round. I am still using / physicalizing the opening circle. My indication of who speaks next also helps the seated participants know who is speaking next. With a large room it is useful to know this as the sound sounds like it comes from everywhere.

Agenda co-creation in my experience has never lasted longer than 1 hour 15 minutes – no matter how large the group has been.

Then we are off – people simple go to the Agenda Wall (you want plenty of room for traffic in front of that and it wants to be very long if possible to allow all to see), put their names on the signs (if that’s your approach) or not, then go to the discussion areas where their preferred topics are.

**everything happens in the same big room**. **there is no space/time in-between sessions on the schedule** **food is also brought in to stations around the edges of this room** **if there is a Newsroom, ideally it is also along the wall of this same room** ** if additional signage is needed helium balloons or signs hanging from the ceiling may be used **

We come back together at Closing Circle time by sitting anywhere. I am once again twirling on my little platform in the center. I invite Closing Circle comments and reflections, once again indicating in the round who next will speak as they once again come up to stand at the 3 microphones.

We have a really delicious time.

My fabulous colleagues who also have done larger OS will give you other ideas from their own experiences…

Our warm wishes go with you,

Lisa