“Real Play” of a Clearness Committee
This activity allows a participant to bring forth a real issue and a few others to sit with him/her and experience having a clearness committee about the issue.
Materials and Setup
Materials & Setup:
Enough chairs for all participants; arrange 4 or 5 chairs in the center of the space and other chairs in a circle around them.
Before meeting together for this activities, you may suggest that all participants read this description of Clearness Committees. Your group will be “real playing” a shortened version of the process described.
For groups with younger participants, be prepared to spend 10-15 minutes at the beginning of the session explaining the process of questioning and listening that happens during a clearness committee.
A week before the session, invite the focus person to spend some time thinking and praying about the question, decision, or issue they would like to explore during the clearness committee.
This activity is call a ”real play,” rather than a “role play,” because it is real: A “focus” person brings forth a real issue, and a few others (3 to 4) sit with him/her and have a clearness committee. Others sit in a circle around them, holding the committee in prayer and listening in silence. Because this kind of exercise should be limited in time (an hour works well), it is helpful to have a specific issue that the focus person will bring.
The exercise works best within a group where trust in sharing has already been established. One person volunteers to be the focus person; others, preferably with some experience in clearness committees, volunteer to be on the committee. (It is important that the person convening the committee be experienced.)
The convener should explain the process of asking open, gentle questions.
After the “real play “concludes, it is helpful if the convener makes clear that the clearness committee is over, and that if anyone wants to speak more with the focus person about the issue under discussion, this should happen in a private conversation. Then the group, including the clearness committee, reflects together on the experience.
Questions to address in the post-“real play” discussion could include:
- Where did participants sense Spirit’s presence during the session?
- What insights rose in the discussion?
- How was the listening of the clearness committee expressed?
- What was it like for the observers to be listening prayerfully?
What “graces” (gifts of the Spirit) were received by all present —-observers, clearness committee, focus person?
Credits: Nancy Bieber (PhYM), Exercise Author