Stepwise has been running in the SW Synod since 2020. This programme is more focussed on how we function as Christ’s followers rather than focussed on what we know.

How does Stepwise work?
Stepwise works by combining different kinds of activities.
In order to complete any Stepwise stream you will do all of the following:
• be a member of a Stepwise group;
• follow guided material online via the URC Learning Hub; as well as
• have meetings with a Stepwise mentor.
Faith-filled Life, the opening Stepwise stream, will take you about three months to complete. The other streams contain more material and may take up to 12 months each.
• Find out about all the Stepwise streams

Stepwise Groups – in-person or online
Sharing together and learning from each other is an important part of Stepwise. Everyone has important things to contribute – whatever their age, shape, size, stage. So for each stream you follow you will join a stepwise group and meet for shared tasks and discussion in a friendly and supportive environment. Stepwise groups can be either in-person groups or online groups using Zoom or another online service.
• Before each group meeting you will do some preparation, via the Learning Hub, to make sure that you get the most out of the group discussion session.
• During each group meeting you will be encouraged to share your experiences and develop your thoughts further.
• Groups will be led by an experienced facilitator skilled at drawing out the best from a diverse group and helping everyone gain confidence and understanding in return.
Arrangements for group meetings will vary depending on the Stepwise stream and the needs of each particular group. Most groups will meet fortnightly for a couple of hours each time.

The URC Learning Hub
All the material and resources needed for Stepwise are contained within the URC Learning Hub – the online home of Stepwise. You can access the Hub via any web browser (e.g. Chrome, Edge, Safari, Firefox etc.) using acomputer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
Before your group session you log-in to the Learning Hub and work through the material for that session. There will be some texts to read and think about, weblinks to follow, videos to watch and audio clips to listen to. These activities will take about two hours to complete before each session and will make sure that you get the most out of that session. Everything is clearly arranged and instructions are given so that you will know exactly what to do, and when to do it.

As well as needing a way of getting online for session preparation you will also need a notepad and pen for making notes to take to the group session. If you are worried about not having done this kind of programme before or about never having used this kind of technology – don’t be! There will be local
support to help you take part. Stepwise IT buddies will be available to help you get started and guide you along the way.

If you have any additional learning needs please contact the Stepwise team to discuss how we can best help you.

Stepwise Mentors
As a Stepwise participant you’ll have a mentor alongside you on your Stepwise journey. Their role is to listen to you as you reflect upon your Stepwise experience and help you to explore where Stepwise is leading you. Your mentor is there to support you as you reflect upon your learning and your discipleship development and help you to make connections with your life experience.

The question “how is God at work in what I am learning and doing?” is a major part of Stepwise and your mentor is there to guide you as you to think about this. The mentor’s role is not a teaching one, but a supporting and enabling one. Stepwise mentors are people who are trusted in their local community and church. You will be able to choose your own mentor and guidance is given to help you think about the qualities and gifts that a suitableperson will have.

• the programme doesn’t cost anything, beyond an initial booking fee of between £5-£30 on a pay what you can basis
• if it’s done on Zoom you don’t have to travel anywhere,
• it takes anything up to nine or ten meetings (or in some circumstances it could be more using Zoom), probably spread over six to seven months
• there’s quite a bit of thought, preparation and reflection by the participants….
• that is supported by online resources that help you to prepare for sessions, reflect after sessions and
• through text, video, literature and other resources stimulate your thinking and growing as a Christians
• as well as the interactions in our facilitated meetings
• you can join it as an individual or a group from a church could join together…

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