The Flexible Group Model May Be the Answer
Starting a chartered Study Group or Teaching Center can be difficult if you don’t have enough committed members to carry out the requirements for chartered status.
To begin with, your community must have enough Keepers of the Flame above lesson 8 to fill between 3-7 board positions. If you want to seek teaching center status all board members must also be Communicants of Church Universal and Triumphant.
Ideally, groups should have enough eligible members to pick up the torch of leadership, as board members rotate off the board every election cycle. And chartered groups are required to hold a minimum of three services per week (St. Germain Service, Wednesday Evening Healing Service and a Sunday Service.)
Chartered groups must also have enough members to provide outreach and many other responsibilities associated with maintaining a thriving chartered group such as AV support, decree leading, in-reach, fellowship, altar care, cleaning, activities for children youth, etc.
Recently a new model called the “flexible group” was approved by the Church Universal and Triumphant board of directors. Its primary purpose is to provide a platform to form a spiritual community with far fewer requirements than a chartered group. This allows people of like mind to easily gather and practice and learn the teachings of the ascended masters.
It serves as a beginning level step in forming a spiritual community that may eventually lead to the group applying for chartered study group status as it grows and matures.
Here is a list of the major elements of a flexible study group:
- Meeting place: Physical location or virtual meetings or combination of both. Examples: Member’s home, public gathering place, coffee shop, or teleconference calls, SKYPE, GoToMeeting or other similar options.
- Frequency of meeting: The group members meet a minimum of once per month, or more frequently based on the unique needs and wishes of the participants.
- Activities of flexible group model: There are five choices for group activities: 1. Study, 2. Worship, 3. Fellowship, 4. Service, 5. Outreach.
- Possible forms of study may include: Pearls of Wisdom®, Pocket Guides, KOF Lessons, The Sacred Adventure Series, or other books specifically focused on the teachings of the ascended masters
- Worship may include: a Sunday service, a decree service, rosaries, or any combination of prayers, fiats, or decrees.
- Fellowship may include activities designed to facilitate bonding among the group members. Meetings may begin with ice-breakers and end with refreshments, or groups may choose to celebrate special occasions or holy days.
As a group expands or matures, it may wish to take on a service project in the community, such as serving at a soup kitchen, or an intergenerational activity like planting a garden.
As the group bonds and enjoys their experiences together, they may choose to engage in outreach events to share the teachings with others.
Groups select at a minimum either study, worship, or both to begin their group. If they are meeting at a physical location, it will strengthen the bond among members by pairing fellowship with worship or study. The other activities are optional, and can be added at any time, if the group so chooses, and as the group develops.
Each flexible group is assigned a mentor. They must also agree to follow basic policies and procedures and to focus exclusively on the teachings of the Ascended Masters as delivered by our messengers Mark and Elizabeth Clare Prophet.