WSFT’s Gatherings project might be only two months old, but it’s already made an impact in communities across the US.
We have received lots of positive feedback from members who have started their Gatherings. They’ve explained to us that it’s actually not that hard to start your own…and that the effort pays dividends in our towns and cities.
Thee things we’ve learned from our local leaders:
- You’ll likely get more women attending than you expect.
Some interested WSFT members expressed to us they didn’t think many women would show if they started a Gathering. Though subjects like birth control, dating, and sex within marriage might seem “third rail”, you might be surprised—more women are interested in talking about these topics than you think.
Several Gatherings organizers have shown very large turnouts. WSFT member Cathy had a larger-than-expected attendance at her first Gathering:
I have had a positive response to my invitation to join me for the WSFT Gatherings…of the 16 interested, 8 came to the first meeting!! Oh my gosh, it was like there was not enough time for people and we were flitting from one topic to another!! Everyone was joining in on the discussion.
WSFT member Susan also has eight at her lively WSFT Gathering:
“There were eight of us at this Gathering which I thought was a great number. Being passionate women, we did go off topic, but I found it easy to reign us in.”
- Small groups can also make a concentrated impact.
Of course, not all Gatherings are large. In fact, a smaller Gathering can often make it easier to hone in on specific, local concerns focused on bettering your community. WSFT member Laura writes about her Gathering, and how it is discovering her town’s real needs:
“Last Friday we had a meeting of three women in our town. Two of us were homeschooling moms; one was a college student. We all found the materials enlightening but realized that, before we can do anything to help our own community, we need to talk to some of the people here who are more familiar with the exact challenges we are facing. In our little corner of the world, there is a lot of heroin addiction, human trafficking, violence, prostitution, and child abuse/neglect, all of which is connected to the sex and relationship “market.” Before our next meeting, I plan to speak to the director of our PRC, our city councilwoman at-large, and anyone else I can find who works closely with the poor in our community to get a better idea of what our next steps might be.”
- You don’t have to come to a Gathering as an expert, but you will learn from each other.
Along the same lines, don’t worry if you or your guests feel ignorant of current events or pressing local issues. Participants in WSFT member Andrea’s group recognized that they needed to learn more about problem in their area that they had heard about, but never investigated. Recognizing the knowledge gap is an important first step in changing your community for the better! Andrea writes:
One of the issues we discussed is the notoriety that our state has as a center of sex trafficking. We agreed that this activity is a real threat to women and kids, and taking action against it is something that all politicians should be involved with, no matter political affiliation. More importantly, we agreed that educating ourselves and others is something that we could do. Sadly, it seems that most people (including the 5 of us gathered last night) are unaware of the prevalence of this criminal industry, literally in our backyard.
- Women of all ages, stages, and walks of life can participate in and learn from your Gathering.
WSFT member Megan had a large and diverse group—but all of the women were glad to be included, and all learned something from the Gathering. She writes:
We had 12 women attend from various backgrounds. From single to married, and ages 24-60. Everyone raved about the material…we had great discussions on how each of us individually and as a group can focus on shifting the local narrative; starting with our daughters. The ‘Prisoners Dilemma’ was a breakthrough thought for almost everyone…everyone was hopeful and appreciated being included in the gathering. It was obvious many women have been waiting for something like this.
If you haven’t already, sign up to start your own WSFT Gathering on our website! You may be surprised at the enthusiasm you find among the women you invite, and with how soon your group makes strides.
Stay tuned for more feedback and helpful information for your WSFT Gathering on the blog!