Ah, the wondrous Internet! One of my favorite web resources Spirituality and Practice is offering a way to access their e-courses privately for your own church group, spirituality circle, or other group. I recently received an e-mail from Persephone, their Coordinator of Spiritual Literacy Project, who happens to be a UU. Below is how she describes this innovative option.
We hear all the time about how hard it is these days to gather groups together — there are often problems synchronizing schedules, the need to be with families and friends in the evenings and on weekends, travel and babysitting expenses, etc. Having your own private online community is one way for a group to share your spiritual journeys without having to be physically together. We’ve also found that having a focus for your online conversation — such as the daily quotes in the e-course mailings and the practice suggestions — keeps the momentum going and keeps people coming back.
Our upcoming e-courses are Practicing Spirituality with Thich Nhat Hanh and Practicing Spirituality with Henri J. M. Nouwen (a flyer describing them is here: http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/ecourses/2007ecourses.pdf
Your group can also choose from any of our on-demand e-courses which you’ll find on the second page of the flyer.
Here’s how your community’s e-course would work. We’d create a special sign-up page for your small group that would describe the e-course and your practice circle (adding any special copy you supply, if you want), and give you a link to distribute to your group or to post on your website. Then when people signed up through that link, they would get an email with the link into your practice circle. Your people would pay the same for the course as anybody else, along with a $5 set-up fee per person to cover the technical costs.
This sounds like a great option for many types of small group ministries. The courses are rich and diverse, just what UU’s need! If you are interested in more information you can e-mail Persephone at firstname.lastname@example.org