Title: Church and Community Ecumenical Pantry Project – A Caring and Unifying Project.
Project Location: Dayboro Uniting Church – on the rural fringe just outside of Brisbane located in the hills and valleys of Dayboro, Mt Mee, Ocean View, Mt Pleasant, Samsonvale, Kobble, Armstrong and Lacey’s Creeks.
Timeline for Project: The Project began in 2006 when the local Combined Churches Committee (Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran, Uniting and AOG) identified a common goal of serving the community through welfare and pastoral care.
2006 Commencement of an ecumenical Pantry storage and distribution centre in the Uniting Church with a satellite collection point in the Catholic Church. The Lutheran and AOG Churches brought supplies of food and household needs to the Uniting Church. The Combined Churches Committee received referrals from church members and sent two members to visit a needy situation and assess the need. A recommendation was then made to supply goods on a regular basis. Congregations were encouraged to keep up the supplies for the pantry. On average two families a week were being supported.
Kids and Young Folk help make decisions and assist in the Pantry
About Adult Learning
Today much education, esp. in schools, is undertaken in classrooms with structured lessons and teachers in authority and exams at the end of it. Adults can learn this way however we prefer to learn as Adult Learners. Adults generally learn through building on their life experiences, and in undertaking team or group learning directed at concrete projects (such as we are talking about here in this Lay Forum project i.e. we as adults tend to use action learning.
Three types of Learning for and from life: To do this we need to consider learning as a (1) life-long learning and (2) life-wide learning and (3) life-deep learning process.
The former where we learn progressively throughout our lives (life long learning) the latter as we learn about related bodies of knowledge such as say carpentry and plumbing or related areas in a project such as design, admin, book-keeping, project management, accountability and so on (life wide learning). To these three we add the third (life-deep learning) and in particular this is what we are speaking of in this initiative.
Life deep learning then is about understanding at depth the other two and to grasp the layers of meaning that derive from our day to day lives and thus our day to day projects. So that when we undertake, for instance, a church based project there is a depth of possibility and potential that we can bring to bear on the problem the project seeks to address â€“ it is not a kneejerk reaction or a superficial gloss. The possibilities emerge from the design of the project, the problem it seeks to address in some small local yet meaningful way and, our own life experiences and, commitment and compassion and expertise in assisting in its design and/or implementation.
So when we are undertaking action learning through a particular project we need to keep records and bare these three dimensions of adult learning in mind: life-long, life wide, and life deep learning.
See – ALA – Adult Learning Australia
What is a learning circle?
Learning circles are a type of community engagement process that can help people explore complex issues, make decisions and take action. During learning circles, members come together to have dialogue on an issue. It is a community driven process. Learning circle participants are recruits from all parts of the community. The learning circle process begins with community organising. It is followed by facilitated, small group dialogue and planning that leads to change. Learning circles are not designed to advocate a particular solution or someone’s wheelbarrow. Instead, Learning circles welcome many points of view around a shared concern. They can then democratically and collectively prioritise action options and choose and enact the circles choice of action and of enacting that action.
A single learning circle is a small, diverse group of 5 to 12 participant citizens who meet for about 2 hours weekly or fortnightly for 4 to 6 times (a ’round of learning circles’), to address a critical public issue in a democratic and collaborative way. Often there may be a gap of up to two weeks while actions are carried out. They are led by a neutral facilitator, who can rotate from meeting to meeting, and all circle members seek to consider an issue from many points of view. A Discussion Guide allows the participants to progress their conversation from personal experiences, to sessions that examine many points of view on the issue, to a session that considers strategies for action and change.