Thank you for running a course with Radical Presence. You are welcome to use material on this website with an existing group, or to convene one specially. Our aim on this page is to encourage and equip you as a facilitator, so that you feel confident running your group. If you have any questions, you are welcome to get in touch.
Whom should I invite? Radical Presence is suitable for Christian groups, such as a church home group, or a group of members who have met through a national network. However because the material used is broad and varied, people without an explicit Christian faith should find it thought-provoking too.
Do I need to inform Green Christian I’m running a group? No, we’re very happy for groups of non-members to freely use Radical Presence. However we would very much appreciate a donation either from the group or from individuals (or even both). If you all belong to the same organisation, such as a church, we would ask your organisation to sign up for corporate membership of Green Christian. We also ask that participants complete a feedback form at the end of the series.
How big should a group be? We find that the ideal group size is between 4 and 6. However with Zoom you could have a much larger group (potentially up to 100!) and use the breakout rooms facility: you would start with everyone together for the welcome and opening liturgy, break out into small groups for most of the time, and then reconvene in the last 10 minutes for a quick wrap-up and closing prayer. That’s how we do it in Green Christian, and it help people feel part of a wider movement.
Does everyone need to have a computer and internet access? Not necessarily: most video conference providers allow people to join by telephone. However phone participants will need to have read the preparatory material beforehand, so they may need to have it printed off and posted to them. And of course video participants will occasionally need to be reminded that phone participants can’t see what they can see.
Which video conferencing platform shall we use? If you are not joining a group as a member of Green Christian, you will need to decide which video conferencing platform you will use. In our experience Zoom is the most reliable, but for group meetings like this, which last longer than 40 minutes, you would have to pay for a subscription. Alternatively ask if any of your members has access to a paid-for service. Microsoft Teams is a similar platform. Free services without a time limit include Skype and Google Hangouts, although these are best suited to small groups.
Can I manage as a facilitator on my own? It really depends how confident you are with the technology and leading different aspects of each session. You might find it helpful to share the following jobs out:
- a host who has some basic technical skill with the conferencing platform you are using, helps people to sign up to the technology, and does any troubleshooting necessary during a session to minimise disruption
- a chaplain to lead opening liturgy and closing prayer, and perhaps also to watch for anyone who might be emotionally vulnerable, for instance about the loss of someone they know or more general anxiety
- a facilitator to guide the discussion on the ‘questions for exploration’. There are a number of websites which give tips for good practice, such as this one.
- a notetaker to record the key points you have discussed and discoveries you have made as a group. Keeping a record is helpful in developing clarity, a common mind, and a sense of direction, but it will also help Green Christian to build a movement of Christians for a sustainable, just and compassionate emergence from the pandemic.
So you want us to take notes, then, and send them in? Yes, please, if possible. One of the aims of Radical Presence is to build a movement, and foster longer-term commitment and action by the churches in Britain and with other organisations. You can help by sharing what you discover. Please enter your key conclusions on this ‘key thoughts form’ during or soon after each session. You will also be able to see what other groups are saying. You can keep separate notes for your group if you wish. Either way your group members may find it helpful to look back on notes from one session to the next, and at the final session.
How should I use the material provided? After the opening ‘check-in’ and liturgy, we suggest that you start the discussion by asking someone to read the short scripture reading – this helps get everyone ‘onto the same page’. You can use as many or as few of the questions which follow, and you are of course welcome to add your own. Try to guide the conversation to a few concise points of consensus, and arrange for them to be recorded in the key thoughts form. If there is anything in the questions or material you think could be improved, please let us know at the time or in your final feedback.
What do we need to do at the end? We would like to hear from you as both individuals and as a group. Please encourage your participants to complete the feedback form. Also send us an evaluation of Radical Presence from your point of view as the facilitator, and a summary of what action you decided to take as a group after the final session. We may also be in touch with you and your participants about the wider outcomes emerging from the programme, and possible next steps.