Community | Sisterhood | Jesus
Embrace is a program that should meet the needs of the women in the corps and the community.
Format: Small Group of 6-8 consistent members meets once per month for a meal and guided conversation.
Setting: Traditionally, a home, alternating between members. Preferably, each member will host at her home at least once. Some members may prefer to co-host at one of their homes or to meet in a public space for a picnic, etc. Alternating homes increases the intimacy among the group and prevents hosting from becoming a burden.
Other alternative settings can include: Restaurant; Corps; Virtual
Costs: The meal is paid for by the host (not the corps). The meal should be simple and low-cost. No need to be extravagant. Think spaghetti and meatballs, rice and beans, soup and bread, etc. Working with the first hosts to ensure that costs and set up are kept very informal and inexpensive will help to establish positive precedent. The costs and time involved in cooking a meal make RSVPs very important.
Choosing a Leader: A reliable, approachable, encouraging facilitator is needed. She must understand the importance of community confidentiality and when to seek help outside the group.
Forming Groups: As much as possible, groups should be diverse in age and background. Try to mix existing social circles and encourage women to get outside their current friend groups. Invitations to join should certainly be extended to people who do not attend the corps, including friends and family of corps members, staff, neighbors and women in various community groups.
Promoting Growth (Optional): In the fourth to fifth month, plan to add new members and mix existing groups. This will help to limit cliquishness. This could be facilitated through a Large Embrace Gathering mid-way though.