At the end of each session, you need to decide whether to take contact details of the guests or not. If you have advertised Sycamore as a ‘no follow-up’ programme, so people know they will not be hassled by the church with publicity, then it would not be right to demand their phone and email contacts. But you may want to offer a sign-up sheet for those who wish to receive more information – voluntarily. It is certainly worth handing out a sheet or some publicity with the dates and titles of the coming sessions, to encourage people to come, and to encourage people to bring friends along.
At the end of the programme, at the last session:
- You might want to have a voluntary sign-up sheet so people can be told about upcoming events etc; or a post-Sycamore Facebook group, etc.
- You might want to have something planned in your parish/chaplaincy/school that will act as a specific follow up to Sycamore for those who wish, e.g. An enquiry group for those who are interested in more formal learning about Christianity after Sycamore; or another video series with discussion groups (e.g. one of the CaFE videos; or the Word on Fire Catholicism Course; or the Great Adventure Bible Timeline, etc.); or to invite anyone interested to join the RCIA group in the parish when it starts and to have some publicity prepared.
- Or instead of (or as well as) putting on extra post-Sycamore groups, you might prefer to make people aware of the various normal timetabled activities in the parish/chaplaincy/school that are taking place over the next few weeks and months – the worship and liturgy; prayer groups; the RCIA group; bible study; social events; etc. Letting people know about the ordinary life of the community and letting them know they are welcome to join in. As a bridge between the Sycamore programme and the life of the community, you could have a handout with all the activities on; or a website address that makes it very clear what is happening; or even put on a follow-up event like a parish fair where members of different groups share what they are doing.
- Think about having a social event as a reunion after Sycamore. Think about building on any friendships and relationships that have grown out of Sycamore; not a formal ‘contact list’, but keeping up with natural friendships that have grown, between guests, and between guests and leaders.
As a team:
- Make sure you pray together after the last session…
- It is good to have an evening or even a day of reflection and review when the programme has finished, in the two or three weeks after, before it becomes a distant memory.
- To pray together, in thanksgiving for all that has happened. To pray for all the guests and all the different people involved.
- To review in some depth how the whole process has gone: what has worked well; what has been difficult; what have been the personal highs and lows for each person involved; what have been the more objective/collective highs and lows that you need to learn from.
- To offer all this to God. To leave everything in his hands, especially the life and faith of the guests; and the whole work and fruit of Sycamore.
- To learn from all this. To make notes and begin to make practical decisions about how to follow up; whether it is worth doing again.
- If it is, then to begin planning – what have we learnt? What would we do differently next time?
- If it is not worth doing again, then what else should we do for evangelisation in our community?
- It is all God’s work. He calls people to know him in so many different ways. Evangelisation is not us trying to engineer someone’s conversation; it is us trying to be open to God’s will as far as we know it, to respond to his call to share our faith and invite others to faith; to scatter seeds; to offer his Word. He will bring whatever fruit he wishes.
- Be brave, be courageous, take a risk; but leave everything in his hands.
For more information about how to run Sycamore, see the links below: