Sunday, January 13, 2008

Chicago IL launches its 4th cycle with Anna's Presentation

Every cluster is different, especially those where the entire cluster is one locality with one Local Assembly. The Chicago IL cluster (A) recently launched its 4th cycle of intensive growth and has this to share about how it approached this expansion phase by dividing the cluster into sectors for planning and training


In the current cycle of growth there was a great emphasis on direct teaching. There were three gatherings held across the cluster on January 12 to serve as training and refresher meetings for the participants to eventually come up with teaching plans that incorporate direct teaching. All participants were introduced to Anna’s presentation and practiced to determine receptivity and share the Message at any given time when appropriate. The purpose of this report is to capture the various activities in the cluster so that the Core Team can better gauge growth and so that the LSA and cluster institutions can offer guidance on goals for the next expansion cycle.


Instead of one central location or area of focus participants in the training and refresher meetings were encouraged to invite their neighbors for a devotional gathering that could possibly lead to a fireside and an opportunity to share Anna’s presentation. The goal was to determine sustainable teaching and consolidation approaches at the neighborhood level that can be replicated or intensified in other parts of the cluster during the next expansion phase.

Planning and Activities:

The Core Team met to consult and plan the expansion phase activities. Chicago has one LSA and the Core Team is constantly in touch with the LSA through a liaison who is a member of both the ATC and the LSA. Learning and suggestions for planning the next IPG have been to start the planning as soon as possible since gathering resources and making sure that everyone is on the same page with a plan requires much effort, communication and time. Another aspect that may enhance the scale of activities is for the Core Team to meet with various participants and the LSA to discuss and refine plans much before the launch of the IPG. Also there was no time to plan a reflection meeting instead there were the training and refresher gatherings planned across the cluster.

Three coordinators planed the training and refresher meetings for the three separate areas and one person coordinated and communicated with each coordinator especially for reports from that area during the expansion phase. Primarily it was decided to pursue a door-to-door teaching approach to gain experience in the process. Other activities were also encouraged as long as the emphasis was on moving towards direct teaching. Many participants did go door-to-door despite the cold weather in the city.


Although it was challenging to gather all statistics systematically, this report has primarily been possible with the help of the Core Team members for sending in as much information from various teaching activities as possible during the expansion phase. All numbers are based on reports that came in and are therefore conservative since there are always activities that the Core Team does not hear about till much later. The reporting process needs to be streamlined where the required information is clearly identified and conveyed to the participants in the IPG before the launch of the expansion phase. This would allow for a standard reporting process that would make it easier to tally data during and after the expansion phase.

Total Participants in expansion phase activities: 62
Participants in Teaching and Outreach activities: 39
Neighborhoods with door-to-door initiatives: 8
Total contacted through outreach: 187
COI and contacts attending activities: 51
Home visits: 17
Anna’s presentations: 14
Declarations: 2

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