Returning to our report from Colombia, we share this time what our visiting American Bahá’í observed about the measures that were employed to ensure that tutors were accompanied in their vital work.
What is apparent is that there is a consistent pattern of tutor gatherings, accompaniment, and regular reflection at the cluster level. To prepare for tutor gatherings, which are held once or twice a cycle, the coordinators visit the “study circles and tutors to generate the content of the tutor gatherings based on the needs of the tutors.” In reviewing questions and scenarios at the tutor gathering the friends find that they “always go back to the Sequence for the necessary guidance.”
Each new tutor is accompanied for six months and a tutor packet has been developed to be shared with all the tutors. It includes “To the Collaborators” from book 1, and sections 12 and 19 from the second unit of book 7.
In at least one of the clusters visited, the work of the institute has become so developed that the cluster institute coordinator has had to appoint assistants in order to meet demands of the expanding process. In this particular cluster the friends have developed a consistent practice of accompanying new tutors. A description of this practice from the report is provided below.
New tutors are visited at least four times for accompaniment during their initial sessions by the cluster institute coordinator or an assistant coordinator.
There are three meetings before starting a study circle:
· The first meeting gives an overview of book 1 and the institute process– Coordinators and tutors will often do individual visits to homes of future participants
· The second meeting forms the group and goes over the logistics, the environment of the circle and answers more questions (they give them the book and ask that they buy it even if it takes them a cycle to be able to pay)
· The third meeting is when the studying begins, with emphasis on the service component from the very beginning. The tutor facilitates with the institute coordinator or her assistant present
Another observation highlights how the tutors are accompanied in support of their goals within the cycle.
Tutors have a goal of completing one book in the sequence per cycle – to assist with this goal, intensives for books 1 through 7 are held during a two week period in the cluster – the institute coordinator sets the dates and all the tutors in the cluster arrange with their Study circles to have at least one or more intensive days during that designated time
That’s it for this post, but there’s more to come from our “Observations from Colombia” series. Stay tuned.