World Café is a means to build connections and understanding across our UU groups. "The World Café format offers structured conversations intended to facilitate open discussion and link ideas among a large group of people, accessing our collective intelligence. Participants move to different tables as they continue the conversation in response to a set of questions posed by the facilitators". Clay described it as speed dating for UUs!
The intent is to build community and positive relationships within and across our UU communities by having conversations that matter amongst ourselves ... and it’s important that we all participate willingly!
The poet David Whyte said a real conversation always contains an invitation. You are inviting another person to reveal herself or himself to you, to tell you who they are or what they want. To do this requires vulnerability. Now we tend to think that vulnerability is associated with weakness, and there's a kind of robust vulnerability that can create a certain form of strength and presence too.
Some questions and conversations have no right to go away, an these are those that have to do with the person we are about to become; they are conversations that will happen with or without our conscious participation.
They almost always have something to do with how we might be more generous, more courageous, more present, more dedicated, and they also have something to do with timing: when we might step through the doorway into something bigger, better—both beyond ourselves and yet more of ourselves at the same time.
If we are sincere in our conversations, the result can be a sense of coming home to something we already know as well as a sense of surprise—not unlike returning from a long journey to find an old friend sitting unexpectedly on the front step, as if she'd known, without ever being told, not only the exact time and date of your arrival but also your need to be welcomed back.
Below is a summary of the 2019 World Café discussions at the ANZUUA conference & retreat held at Springbrook:
1. What would you like from your congregation that you’re not getting now?
- Minister or minister-like leadership
- Critical discussion on BIG topics (like population growth, fake news, etc)
- Relief from responsibility in organisation, and end to endless committees!
- More young people – youth = fresh ideas, environmental awareness
2. What is your source of spiritual inspiration and/or guidance?
- Inspirational history and people
- Good people and their works
- The Seven UU principles
- Readings of wise people
- Awe of Nature and the web of life
- Quiet spaces and reflection
- The Buddha
- Our unity through spiritual connections and common values like humanitarian works and environmental justice
3. How do you describe Unitarian-Universalism to other people?
- Non-sectarian practice of principled life
- Thinking truly, speaking bravely, acting justly
- Non-sectarian fellowship
- Loving approach to non-dogmatic personal theology
- BYO god
- Liberal progressive post Christian
- What do you think happens after death? Have you always believed that?
- Consciousness lives on and your physical body dies. Consciousness and karma transcend to the Higher Power of Ultimate Love. If your karma is dark you return in some form to work it out.
- Life is a glitch between two eternities
- The next great adventure, modified reincarnation
- Focus on the life here and now, not an afterlife
- The effect I have had on the world continues
- The world continues without me
- Our energy is recycled into the universe
- We become one with the earth
4. How do you know what is right and what is wrong?
- Whats loving and best for the greater whole and common good
- Being humble following our intuition
- Not intentionally harming others without due cause (no harm)
- What my mum taught me