Common Ground 1

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The UUA Youth Consultant made one site visit to Carleton College in March, 1981. The summer programs director at Carleton, James Work, was extremely helpful all year. Our committee gives Carleton College high marks as a location for a conference of our size.

All staff members arrived at Carleton by dinner time on friday, August 7. Most of their time from then until 2 p.m. on Monday, August 10 (when the delegates arrived) was spent in a staff training session.

The elements of the staff training weekend were as follows:

  • the functional details of the assembly were reviewed.

  • background material on the decisions leading up to Common Ground, and the politics and structure of the UUA were presented.

  • the decision-making process was reviewed, and the facilitator's role in that process was defined.

  • values/decision-making training was offered. -group process training was offered.

  • the worship dimension of the assembly, the need for "binding ritual", was discussed, and a process for worship planning was arranged.

  • the rules and guidelines for behavior were reviewed and discussed. (The staff decided that the conference began with the staff training, and therefore that all rules applied, including the rule against drinking alcohol on your own time.)

  • the biases of the staff members were examined and aired in order that they might be dealt with before the assembly began.

  • a consensus agreement was reached on what each of the "theme questions" to be presented to the circle groups entailed, and an agreement on the framework all staff members would use to approach these questions was also reached. Details of that consensus in the form that they were presented to the facilitating staff follow.

Staff members were presented with Common Ground T-shirts, particularly for wearing on the first day, as an aid in orientation. The staff were also the first to receive our "goodbye present" to all delegates: the Common Ground Buttons that read "Common Ground: Bring the Vision Home".

Outlining the Process


Translated from the original text document to HTML by Lorne Tyndale, YRUU Programmes Specialist September 1993 - August 1994. The document was on I have placed the document on this site as I've been notified that appears to be down.

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