Talk Thelema: GatherSetting Up
There are two kinds of Talk Thelema groups:
- Talk Thelema groups that are directly affiliated with HeartFlame Ministries; and
- Talk Thelema groups that are primarily sponsored by some other organization with the support of HeartFlame Ministries.
Starting a Talk Thelema group takes serious preparation and commitment. We want you, as a coordinator, to understand this isn’t a weekend fling. It’s a serious small group effort that can be run independently or in support of your own organization. We do have some minor qualifications to which we must adhere, but there are no “special requirements” to be a Talk Thelema coordinator.
We do have the Getting Started Checklist in the Resource Downloads for those who want a comprehensive breakdown of getting started with Talk Thelema.
The question is often asked of a local coordinator, “What is Talk Thelema?”
The simplest answer to that question is: Talk Thelema is a structured, small group conversation of real world topics in relation to the Law of Thelema to get right down where “the rubber meets the road.”
Talk Thelema is designed for 12-15 people meeting together on a regular basis. Once you have reached a sustained attendance of 15-18 individuals on at least a bi-weekly basis, a coordinator should scout the group for someone that might be interested in stepping up to coordinate their own Talk Thelema group in another area.
In order to run a Talk Thelema group, a coordinator must be
- At least twenty-one (21) years of age; and
- Affiliated directly with HeartFlame Ministries, or
- An authorized member, in good standing, of a sponsoring organization.
There are no other requirements. Outside of specific logistic and legal requirements as indicated in this section, Talk Thelema does not discriminate based on race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, education, ability, or class.
We see some qualifications that should be considered. These are not a checklist but more of an internal examination and review of one’s own motivations and aspirations.
- Pursuing Personal Spiritual Growth. A Talk Thelema leader must strive for an active and vibrant application of the Law of Thelema. A leader must be devoted to the daily disciplines of personal study of the Law and prayer. A leader must strive to live a life of integrity and authenticity.
- Available and Committed. A leader must have the available time and energy to foster an environment that inspires group members to explore and connect on their own level with the Law of Thelema.
- Initiative. A leader must take initiative in connecting with group members and seeking out opportunities to be available to individual members.
- Teachable. A leader must regularly attend the services or meetings of their sponsoring organization. A leader must embrace the core values of HeartFlame Ministries and, if any, their sponsoring organization. A leader must actively seek and engage in proper accountability with other leaders.
- Honest and Authentic. A leader must be honest with himself or herself by courageously facing the truth and, through their understanding of the Law of Thelema, intercepting potential challenges and pitfalls that might destroy a leader’s integrity and leadership
In addition, small group coordinators:
- Grow. A coordinator cultivates individual and group study, and discussion to increase understanding of the Law of Thelema. A coordinator commits himself or herself to continuous growth in coordinator skills by attending coordinator trainings and debriefing meetings as offered by HeartFlame Ministries.
- Connect. Through a meeting (generally 1-2 hours) and connection one-on-one, a coordinator invests in eight to twelve individuals to inspire them to become fully invested in the Law of Thelema on a practical and individual level. A coordinator successfully integrates new members into the group. A coordinator maintains connection with, responsiveness to, and accountability with a staff member or, if requested, a mentor.
- Serve. A coordinator aids group members in discovering, developing, and employing their spiritual gifts. A coordinator cultivates in-group members a servant’s heart by providing group serving opportunities. A coordinator equips one or more group members to step into small group coordinatorship.
- Share. A coordinator equips group members to be able to share their thoughts and the Law of Thelema with others. A coordinator cultivates in-group members a heart for the world around them.
- Expand the Ministry. A coordinator is committed to expand Talk Thelema by training future coordinators and growing new groups in the local area.
Coordinator Qualifications & Responsibilities can be downloaded to hand out to potential coordinators from the Resource Downloads.
Individuals interested in a position of coordinator who are directly affiliated with HeartFlame Ministries, rather than some other sponsoring organization, may reach out to HeartFlame Ministries for more information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is recommended that Talk Thelema groups meet once a week on a designated day. However, if you are starting out brand new with Talk Thelema or building a group in a new area, you might start with once or twice a month and work your way up to once a week meetings.
Phase Three of Talk Thelema: Gather will provide the option to offer Talk Thelema as a recurring 11-week curriculum in addition to remaining an independent small group endeavor.
One of the core beliefs of HeartFlame Ministries is that shared food is one of the essentials to facilitating conversation. Of course, Talk Thelema was originally designed as a Saturday morning coffee/breakfast meeting. It is encouraged that coordinators continue this particular facet of Talk Thelema: that is, to organize a Talk Thelema around a meal or some other opportunity for food or drink.
However, there are no restrictions on where a Talk Thelema group can be held. A local diner or a small pub is an ideal location; but if you have a sponsoring organization that has classroom or meeting space of some kind, then that is also a great place to hold your meeting.