Charley’s World Episode Twenty-Seven

Charley and Pastor Sophia met again a week later as promised. Charley began the meeting with a description of what he had learned about learning. He asked Nellie to join him because she had been a key part of his learning as well. Then he presented his proposal to her.

“I would like to do a series of weekly discussions on joy. They would be online and asynchronous to allow young people to participate at a time that works best for them. Each discussion would have a theme building off of a story of joy. The stories will be of actual people and their lives and how they found joy. I’ll write the stories and give participants discussion prompts to reflect on. Participants will share their thoughts on the prompts, but what we are really trying to do is to get them to reflect on what brings them joy. I’m hoping they will see that there is a lot of joy in their life if they just think about it. I would like you to moderate the discussions, but I’m going to ask you to respond to students by asking them questions, not telling them how to live their lives.”

“I love this idea,” responded Pastor Sophia, “but how do I get them to participate? I’m afraid that those who agree to join will be the ones who least need to learn about joyful living.”

”I think you will be surprised. Often people have an outer self they show us, but their inner self can be quite different. I share your concern about recruiting. Here’s what I would propose. Find a few participants who you know will be early sign-ups. Then ask them to help recruit their friends. Have them describe this discussion series as hanging out with a purpose.”

At this point, Nellie interrupted. “I’d like to recruit some young people from my AME church. Would that be ok?”

Again, Charley was amazed at how Nellie would come up with ideas he never thought about. Both Charley and Pastor Sophia were excited by the prospect of having two churches join together.

They ended the meeting with a discussion of details and contingency plans for likely issues they would face. But they didn’t think of one problem they encountered a few weeks into the launch.

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“The more we share, the more we have.” – Leonard Nimoy (actor)