In April, AVP Indiana was invited to Berea, Kentucky to facilitate a Basic (1st level) AVP workshop. One of our original group of apprentice facilitators is a Kentucky native and has been working for the last several years to regenerate interest in AVP. This spring, Steve was successful in organizing a group of local Quakers from Berea Friends Meeting to attend a workshop held on the campus of Berea College. It was a beautiful spring weekend, with the trees beginning to leaf and the mountains beckoning in the distance.
Our facilitation team consisted of me, Steve, and Arnold, who was a new apprentice from South Carolina, looking for an opportunity to gain experience. I had never met Arnold before the Friday evening of the workshop, so team building that first evening was crucial. Also, I had not facilitated a community workshop since the fall of 2012 and I knew it would be a different experience than my prison workshops.
Fortunately, the weekend proved to be a great learning experience for all of us. As a facilitation team, we learned how to smooth out some or our own rough spots and became aware of issues that we, ourselves, needed to work on. Personally, I learned to be more sensitive to the needs of the participants. We tried an exercise I had never done, or seen done before, and it generated some strong emotions among the participants. In the evaluation process, I received really good, critical feedback that will help me facilitate the exercise better in the future.
I also discovered that I have come a long way from my former, introverted, conflict-avoiding self. When conflict arose in several instances, I was able to handle them with a great sense of calm. Transforming Power was truly present, because I knew exactly what to do without thinking. It reminded me that the AVP process works and that we can trust it. It was a superb beginning to a new AVP presence in Kentucky!