Women of Grace® study programs give you the blessed privilege of witnessing the magnificent movement of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the women who attend – and you will experience His dynamic power and grace in your own life as well. As your study group learns about the great gift of authentic femininity and how to live it out in our world today, hearts will be healed, lives will be changed, and souls will be saved. This is indeed a time of transformation, renewal, and deepening commitment.
In these uncertain times, many of our facilitators are asking how they can continue to spiritually support their women. Below are a few steps you can follow to grow in sacred sisterhood when meeting face to face is not possible.
- Determine which technology you wish to use for your remote meetings. There are several platforms that we have used which are fairly user-friendly and some of them are free (with restrictions):
- Zoom (Recommended)
- Google Meeting or Hangouts
- Facetime (Can be used for a smaller group, even between two people)
- Freeconferencing.com (audio only)
- Create a welcoming setting:
- You may wish to have a holy statue or image in the background. Perhaps light a candle.
- Consider the lighting. Be certain to have a lamp or overhead light on so your face is not blacked out. If possible, cover your windows as they create glare on your screen.
- Remove anything from the environment that may be distracting, like closing doors, etc.
- As the facilitator of the meeting, you can utilize the “mute” and “hands raised” features to help your meetings run smoothly and keep background noise to a minimum. Ask participants to keep their mics muted unless they are speaking. If someone is sharing, they can open their mics or raise their hands and you can open it for them.
- Encourage the use of webcams. It helps to create a friendlier meeting environment when everyone can see each other.
- Be enthusiastic! Your enthusiasm is contagious.
- Begin with prayer. You may choose a traditional prayer (Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Come Holy Spirit, etc.) Prayer sets the tone and brings God into the meeting. “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” – Mt 18:20
- Explain the format of the group and how the meetings will unfold. Most of our materials include a short overview, which you can read to the group. Also let participants know when you will be meeting and how to notify you if they can’t make it.
- Start your first meeting with short introductions such as sharing their name, where they are from, and what they hope to get out of the study.
- Work to build trust and intimacy and maintain a confidential setting.
- Ensure that everyone who wishes to share has the opportunity to do so. You may wish to call upon members who are quiet but if they don’t wish to share, don’t force it.
- Try to keep the discussion on the study materials. Personal sharing is welcome but should be related to the topic at hand.
- Close with announcements and intercessory prayer. Unmute everyone’s microphones so they can share their intentions. Many of our groups like to include the prayer of the Rosary or a decade of the rosary. You are welcome to do so if time permits.
- Thank everyone for their participation and announce the next meeting day, time, etc. Be sure to start and end on time and be respectful of your participant’s time limitations.
- Keep in touch with your participants via email and/or group texts between meetings. Encourage them, pray for them, and answer any questions they may have. You may also wish to forward encouraging or inspiring quotes with them, like Women of Grace Daily Gracelines available at womenofgrace.com/signup
For detailed facilitator support, resources, testimonials and much more is available at womenofgrace.com/studies.
If you don’t have time to lead a full study group, please consider offering a Morning of Grace. We have numerous resources available for you here: https://www.womenofgrace.com/en-us/search/default.aspx?q=morning%20of%20grace&type=0
If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-558-5452.
Be assured that God will give you every grace you need to accomplish the task He has entrusted to you.