Friendly Circle

An outline of a typical meeting

Body/mind relaxing exercise. 2-3 minutes.

Goods news from the past week. 8-14 minutes

 The facilitator asks the group, “Anything good to report from your past week or so?”  Each member, one at a time, can reply or pass.  We call that the “go-around procedure.”  The intention is to give each member a chance to reflect on their recent past and to share a bit of their lives with the group. It also demonstrates that we value everyone; no one is to be ignored or left out.  

Unless something that deserves extra time comes up, this Good News section is usually a quick share without discussion.  

Topic of the Day. 
20-35 minutes.

The facilitator presents a question or other topic for discussion.  Samples: “What was a time you felt you successfully accomplished something?”  “Who has been a big help in your life and how did they do it?”  “What was either one very positive or one very painful experience you once had?”  “Have you any life purposes? And if so, how do you feel about your progress so far?” “Complete the sentence:  I sometimes wonder…”

For the Topic of the Day, the group might remain together, or it might be subdivided.  When the group is subdivided, each subgroup has a choice: (1) It can discuss the day’s topic.  (2) Or the small group can inquire whether someone has a personal issue they would like to talk about or some feelings they would like to vent and, if so, focus on assisting that person.  

Memorable review:
6-15 minutes.

After the Topic of the Day, the facilitator might say, “Did you find anything useful or memorable in our session so far?”  People might say, for example, “I liked…”  or “I learned…” “I was surprised…” “I’m beginning to wonder…  “I promise myself to…  or “I re-discovered…” 

This calls on everyone to reflect back on the meeting, to find something meaningful to them, and to put words on what they might have learned.  It reminds members that Circle meetings can be used for much more than socializing; we can learn something that might uplift our lives. 

The go-around procedure might be used for this section of the meeting or it might be treated as an open discussion with only volunteers speaking.

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