Anybody out there?
From: Elizabeth Stevenson (
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 10:52:30 -0700 (MST)
I just had to resubscribe to the list with a new email address, so I'm not
sure, but is there really no activity going on?

We just had our yearly "Big Meeting". Every year we have a sort of vision
meeting, which usually includes alot of soul searching and trying to
re-energize the group. Some meetings are more successful than others. This
one was quite wonderful.

We made childcare arrangements for our kids on site, then we went off-site
for our meeting, to Muir Commons in Davis, CA. It is a 20 minute drive, and
we are fortunate to have cohousing neighbors close by. After years of casual
interaction, it looks like we are going to have more formal agreements about
helping each other out with meetings and such, since it has been a great
success. They cooked for us, and allowed us use of their space, and we have
done and will continue to do the same for them. This is a wonderful away to
make sure everybody gets to participate without the domestic distractions
common to our regular meetings.

We decided our agenda through a process during the meeting, instead of ahead
of time(I think it's called-correct me if you know better, please!-"open
registration" or something like that). This lent a real immediacy to the
discussions, and insured that the topics were important to the attndees,
rather than just to the facilitators. We talked mostly in small groups. I
found that there were things I hadn't even vocalized to myself that were
bothering me. Small group discussions are great, especially in a relaxed,
uncharged atmosphere. As is the case with our best meetings, we came away
with a renewed closeness and feeling very positive about our

I highly recommend this format for your own "Big Meetings", whatever you may
call them. If you are interested in the process of deciding the agenda(which
is wonderful, and devoid of the tension that choosing an agenda would
normally create), I'm sure I can get details for you.

Liz Stevenson
Southside Park Cohousing
Sacramento, California

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