The 2018 West Ohio Annual Conference offered Fear Less Conversations inviting people of faith to consider the power of hope in the midst of fear. Local lay and clergy persons offered testimonies about how addiction, race, gun violence, and disaster affect their lives, their faith, and their communities.
The West Ohio Conference includes diverse congregations within diverse communities.
Regardless of divides- socioeconomic, race, ability, age, education...
Regardless of church demographics- small, new church start, large, county seat…
The realities included in this curriculum are present in the everyday lives of our congregations and communities. Our experiences and perspectives may be different, but these realities exist across our conference.
This curriculum seeks to provide:
- Biblical, theological, and United Methodist grounding
- Real life stories about how these realities have affected individuals, their families, their churches, and their communities
- Opportunities for safe space to host difficult conversations about difficult realities
- Invitation to take action in relevant ways in your community
This curriculum invites us to become aware of and directly address fears around real issues in our communities through brave conversations with each other. It also has the power to move us toward transformative action in our congregations and communities. Each session is 1.5-2 hours in length.
Video Links (also included within curriculum)
How to get the most out of this curriculum
Commit to journey with others in a small group, expecting to be transformed in and through the power of testimonies and meaningful faith conversations. Commit to participate in all sessions in their entirety.
Consider your gut reaction. Consider the strong emotional responses as well as the apathy you may feel toward some topics during the small group series. Consider why you may feel drawn to a topic and not to another. Consider the impact of each topic as it relates to your personal experience and your community’s reality.
Communicate what you are thinking, feeling, and learning with others in your small group and beyond. Communicate how the material is affecting you, what is impacting you, and the ways that you are deeply moved by the topics in the series.
Connect with others outside of the small group time to discuss what you are learning, how you are moved, and where you are feeling called after each session in the series. Connect with local organizations and leaders to discuss what you are learning. Ask what dreams the community might have for addressing one or more realities discussed in this series.
Complete action steps after each session and challenge yourself to complete multiple action steps if possible. Engage others in the process of praying, partnering, and acting.
Celebrate the ways that you are being shaped and challenged by the movement of the Spirit. Celebrate how your faith is growing deeper, your perspective is growing wider, and your service is reaching further. Celebrate how fear is being muffled by your increased hope for your community and your renewed vision for taking tangible next steps to address one or more topics from this series in your community.
How to use the small group materials
Your Small Group kit includes:
- Fear Less Conversations Curriculum Small Group booklet
- USBs or Access to Youtube versions of videos
- You may copy and paste these messages directly into your church communication or you may modify to fit your context:
Join our new study Fear Less Conversations. This 6-week small group study will dive into difficult conversations around addiction, race, gun violence, and disaster. Each week hear from different voices about how to face fear with hope and action. There is enough room for you! For more information or to register contact…
Terms for Use of Information
- All the materials included in this small group kit may be reproduced for local use within your church or your church’s website/social media accounts. When using any of these materials, please include the following citation: From Fear Less Conversations by The West Ohio Conference 2018