What is a gathering and what is its purpose?
Our gatherings are a space where people from all walks of life can gather to listen, learn, and grow in relationship in small group settings. Through monthly meet-ups, we seek to create friendship opportunities between people whose lives would not normally intersect, for the purpose of growing in empathy, understanding, and peace. Each local gathering is an integral part of creating what will soon be the most diverse community of peacemakers on the planet!
This is the way our world is remade: when everyone has a voice, has a place to be heard, known, valued, and loved. Our hope is that friendships grow deep and push us all to love anyway, even when we don’t understand each other yet. In this space we seek to end wars that start in our hearts and minds before they reach our fists and battlefields.
At a gathering people come together, bringing their unique identities, to celebrate their shared humanity. We don’t have to share every core value or convert each other to work together to help heal all that is tearing us apart. We know it will be uncomfortable, and sometimes even scary, but we choose to love anyway.
Who hosts a gathering?
We are committed to each gathering being co-hosted by two partners who are pursuing friendship and deeper understanding with one another across some kind of cultural, political, ethnic, or religious demarcation that might normally create or foster division.
What are the co-host role and responsibilities?
The co-hosts’ most important role is to cultivate a space where everyone feels loved, included, heard, and valued no matter where they are from, how they grew up, or who they voted for.
As a gathering co-host, you would offer a minimum of one gathering per month and foster friendship opportunities between people whose lives would not normally intersect for the purpose of empathy, understanding, and peace. Between gatherings you will be expected to encourage opportunities for members to meet up, grow in one-on-one friendship, and reach out in their own neighborhoods, and love anyway.
It is within a local gathering where peace begins to grow through your practice of listening and learning from one another. This will overflow into neighborhoods and campuses as gathering members work together to listen to the needs in their community.
Meet-ups can be simple like encouraging members to talk to someone with whom they are different or read a book together that broadens your perspectives, bringing your group together to help a neighbor or reach out and be with people during a time of crisis. You would be committing to intentionally reaching out and welcoming people of ALL different backgrounds, ethnicities, political and religious beliefs.
Gathering co-hosts are responsible for debriefing with Gathering Coordinators after monthly meet-ups. Sharing all feedback positive and negative is imperative for the growth and vitality of our gatherings. You are expected to communicate questions and concerns, share pictures and videos from gatherings, and reach out for help when needed.
How can I become a co-host?
If you are interested in becoming a co-host your next step is filling out our co-host survey and encouraging whoever you have in mind as a co-host to apply at the same time. If you don’t have anyone in mind as a co-host, please still fill out the survey and our team would love to help encourage you in reaching out to begin pursuing diverse friendships.
Is there training or support for co-hosts?
For those co-hosts who are selected, there are training modules that include resources and structure for communicating with your gathering members, and a gathering team here to work with you every step of the way to help start your gathering with the best foundation possible. We are also working toward offering a curriculum. Gathering coordinators are available to listen, coach, support, and guide each gathering through their individual contexts.
How do I start a gathering in my area?