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The focal point of the paper is to prepare a report based on attendance at meeting of a self-help group. In this reaction paper, the group would be identified and details associated with the meeting would be provided. There would be a comparison of an attendance at the Christian oriented group with the experience of the secular oriented group.
The Christian oriented group that was attended was held in St. Wilshire Community Church on Friday, 6 pm. It was a Christian Single Mom group. The majority of the mother’s in this class lost or was widowed from their husband’s in a traumatic way. The fundamental intention of this group was to give them hope through the learning of Christian faith. This group consisted of mainly women who were lively and caring for their children. It was inspiring to learn that though these women wet through unthinkable misery in life, they chose life and love over melancholy and were very optimistic.
His one-hour group was aligned towards Bible study but there were much individual inputs. Here, along with the learning of Christianity, the members shared their stories and inspired each other with their feelings. The environment was warm and welcoming and the essence of the conversation made every participant feel safe and protected. Person to person communication carried on even after the end of the study hour, as they were all comfortable with the surroundings. It was an environment that bridged personalities and all the women became very close. It was a family-like attachment and everybody shared her snacks.
On the other hand, a secular group meeting was also attended. This group met at the St. Jude’s Medical Hospital, in Fullerton California on 14th November 2008 at 9 pm. It was organized by the Open Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Meeting and was lead by Sam Jacobson. The focal point of the meeting was to help people who were suffering from substance abuse. It should be remembered that this was an open meeting anyone is welcome to attend as long as he does not disrupt the smooth process of the meeting that elaborates the consequences and different aspects of alcoholism in relation to one’s personal experiences. On there times, there are closed meetings and only people suffering from substance abuse and wish to quit this bad habit are allowed to enter the study. This was meeting that followed definite and rigid code of conduct and was directed by the leader or facilitator of the group in leading them on to start expressing their feelings on the subject, which Jacobson very tactfully steered through within the group.
It was clear from the experience that the Christian meeting was more emotionally motivating and warm in the sense that everyone participated and communicated willingly without the help or direct indulgence of any leader or facilitator. However, the secular group was more like a routine rather than willful participation. It looked like duty and not enjoyment. There were occasions when a certain topic was deliberated where as during the Christian group meeting every aspect appeared to be spontaneous and it felt that the participants were enjoying the communication with open heart. It must be stated that the Christian group meeting was stimulating in nature and there was a feel of family within the group whereas the secular group appeared to be particularly methodical and followed preplanned procedures. (Lamb, 2004) Thus, this mode of group meeting was comparatively lifeless and looked more of a therapy rather than a process of inspiration and self belief development.
Lamb, D; (2004); Cult to Culture: The Development of Civilization; Wellington: National Book Trust