Closing is perhaps one of the most important “Peace and Power” practices. However, it is easy to neglect closing because it requires time at the end of a gathering .. and this is hard to do! Meetings tend to go “overtime” anyway, and to set aside enough time at the end so that everyone can speak requires real discipline. Each person only needs to speak a few seconds, perhaps only to confirm their sense of the time together. If the group agrees to make this a priority, the convener or anyone in the group can watch the time and make sure that the process of the group ends so that the group can shift to closing.
At the time of closing, everyone present shares one or more of three things:
- Appreciation for someone or something that has happened during this meeting or time frame.
- Critical Reflections, which can focus on:
- something that could have been different in the meeting, and how to shape that difference in the future
- topics that were not sufficiently addressed in this meeting
- how the group might shift to more fully express their values in their actions
- Affirmation, which is a personal statement of commitment in moving forward with the group. Example: “I trust the process of our group”
When everyone shares their closing, then everyone in the group has a sense of each individual in the group, and leaves with an understanding of the group’s solidarity and where the group needs to focus their attention in the future.