START A NUW HOUSE GROUP
Follow the RECIPE for SUCCESS
- A place to meet. It could be a house, apartment, private room in a restaurant, your back yard, or some other place – even a closet if people will go there
- Guests and Active Members: Estimate the capacity of your space and invite 2 to 3 more than that. Confirm the gathering 2-3 days in advance.
- Directions: Send your guests directions on how to get to your place. Sure they can use a GPS, but give them some help just in case.
- Food: You or you + a friend will provide refreshments for the first meeting. Thereafter you will be best served to allow others to pitch in. I’ve found two different approaches that work well: (A) Everyone, or certain people who are assigned at each meeting, each bring a dish; or (B) One person gets assigned on a rotating basis to provide all the refreshments. The key point is that you don’t do it all. Even if you want to do it all, don’t. It’s counter-productive. Everyone needs to have duties to take ownership of their role in NUW. Everyone needs to provide positive value. Also, some of your members should branch out to start their own NUW House groups. You want them to see that hosting a NUW House group does not involve excessive work. They need to see that hosting is easy because everyone pitches in.
- Plates, cups, utensils for eating – use your own or disposables. If you use your own, have members pitch in to help clean up. Don’t be afraid to delegate. Just be sure members see you working alongside them. Alternatively, you might ask members to each clean the wares they used.
7. A broadband internet connection
8. A way to use your television as the monitor for viewing internet multimedia content
9. (Optional) Background music for socializing time
10. (Optional) Incense or other pleasant fragrance – some members may find odors objectionable. Be sensitive to that.
Our first house meetings will happen during the week of October 9, 2016. If you want to host a meeting, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org asap. We will answer your questions, and help you get started.
Invite friends and family. Discuss with them beforehand the best time and day. Provide directions as needed. Ask people bringing food to arrive about 10 minutes early.
Eat first. That way the meeting has a definite end point. Arrange this as you like – formal or casual. Have people begin eating as they arrive or wait until a certain time. Whatever you think works best for your crew. Eat and socialize for about 45-50 minutes. Then give a signal that the meeting is about to begin. You may want to discuss what the group feels is an appropriate signal to come to meeting.
Begin each meeting with about 5 minutes of meditation. This may be silent, or it may involve some type of chanting – like “om”. You may wish to set a timer, like the one on your phone, to sound the end of meditation time.
You should give the following invocation immediately after meditation:
“We come together to celebrate our unified diversity. We gather to explore the beautiful depths within ourselves and our fellow Neighbors. We believe that we each constitute a tiny area within the eternal One Being. We are each places in one great body. Therefore, whenever we act, we act from a place of lovingkindness. We approach the world in an attitude of wonder and curiosity for ourselves, our Neighbors, and our world. We embrace all that life brings us without resistance whether happiness or sadness, pain or pleasure. We acknowledge our role as keepers of the garden, shepherds of the flock. We humbly offer our integrity, compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, honesty, and courage into the service of our Greater Self. In these things we agree, and to them we commit our lives.”
Next let everyone join in singing two songs of your choosing which appropriately represents NUW values. Playing a youtube video of the song, especially one with lyrics, helps people keep up. It also reduces shyness.
Some examples of appropriate songs include:
Where is the Love – The Black-Eyed Peas
Imagine – John Lennon
From a Distance – Nancy Griffith
Bomb the World – Michael Franti
He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother – the Hollies
Get Together – The Youngbloods
Time to Build – The Beastie Boys
You Must Learn – KRS-One
The Worker’s Song – Dropkick Murphys or Dick Gaughan
Why? – Tracy Chapman
We Shall Overcome – Pete Seeger
Universal Soldier – Donovan
Eve of Destruction – Barry McGuire
Talkin bout a Revolution – Tracy Chapman
One – U2
Peace, Love, and Understanding – Elvis Costello
I Hope – Dixie Chicks
Get Up, Stand Up – Bob Marley
Fortunate Son – Credence Clearwater Revival
Abraham, Martin, and John – Dion
American Idiot – Green Day
Call It Democracy – Bruce Cockburn
If you’re having an Empowerment meeting, put on the presentation after the singing. The C.U.O. will usually provide a video lasting about 30 minutes. Follow the presentation with 20-30 minutes of discussion time.
If you’re having a Project Planning meeting, go right into the discussion.
Close with the song: “This Little Light of Mine”
You may find many iterations of it on youtube. A few of my favorites follow
Dismiss the meeting.