On the third Friday of October 2015, beloved Orientation trainer Jerry Koch Gonzalez returned to share another day of training and practice in Nonviolent Communication with Life Together fellows and staff. The day opened with small group meditations on emotional needs and the ways in which those needs impact our lives. Those meditations grounded large and small group sessions and activities to help articulate the four components of nonviolent communication: observations, feelings, needs, and requests. The morning session closed with the group observing a modelling of the nonviolent communication process with two fellows processing a real shared experience.
Life Together’s January Third Friday Spiritual Activism Training focused on the theme of vocation. It was led by the Rev. John de Beer (see below). The goals of this training for Life Together Fellows were as follows:
a.) Learn to use a biblically based model of vocation to articulate and strengthen Fellows' own particular call at this time in their lives.
b.) Experience themselves as known, cherished and claimed by the Creator of all
c.) Receive as gifts their own innate abilities, those things that they do well and love doing.
d.) Explore their passionate connection with the world as a key to participation in God’s mission of justice and reconciliation.
e.) Develop an understanding of maturity as commitment, as they discover the freedom that comes from doing what they love in service of their deep desires.
f.) Strengthen their sense of partnership with God.
g.) Learn to support others to strengthen their own sense of call.
Life Together’s December Third Friday Spiritual Activism training focused on doing the inner and outer work necessary to become an effective and spiritually grounded fundraiser. The purpose of the training was not only to help Fellows launch their own fundraising efforts for Life Together (each have a $500 goal for May 2015). It was also meant to deepen their skills as lifelong activists and ministers who will very likely need to ask for financial support over and over again. In terms of the inner work involved, the training entailed looking at our received ideas about money, considering our potential blocks and misgivings about fundraising, and how to work through such blocks and misgivings. Regarding the outer work, we learned how to make a fundraising ask and create a concrete plan. We also learned about Life Together's funding model and how it informs Fellows' fundraising efforts on behalf of Life Together.