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How to start a Virtues Connection

How to Start a Virtues Connection

 Published by Virtues Project NZ, serving The Virtues Project in Aotearoa New Zealand

 What is a Virtues Connection?

A Virtues Connection is a group of people who are eager to  help promote The Virtues Project in their area.  They may meet regularly to  provide practice and encouragement in using the strategies of The Virtues Project.  The Connection can remain informal, meeting periodically to practice the strategies of the Virtues Project or they can create a more formal structure often focusing on promoting workshops and applying for  funding for workshops, advertising, or materials.

What is the relationship between a Virtues Connection and Virtues Project New Zealand?

Virtues Project NZ does NOT act as a regulatory body for those who wish to form Virtues Connections or to run workshops.  Virtues Project NZ encourages local initiative AND regional collaboration.  While Virtues Project NZ upholds the boundaries set by The Virtues Project Inc regarding copyright and professional practice,  it limits itself to the roles of promotion, support and networking.  Facilitators can become registered through VPNZ as a way to gain further support and to maintain professional standards within The Virtues Project.

What do Virtues Connections do?

Support

The main activity of many Virtues Connections is to provide support and encouragement to its members.  In this capacity, groups meet regularly, often monthly, however some meet  weekly.  The groups often begin with an activity that honours the spirit or helps people get in touch with the spiritual side of their natures.  This can be a Virtues Pick with each person choosing a Virtues Card and speaking about it or one person choosing one Virtues Card and everyone speaking to that Virtue.  Boundaries about sharing respectfully, and practicing confidentiality are agreed upon and upheld. As each person shares, the others give each speaker a Virtues Acknowledgement. 

In this manner the group practices all the strategies of the Virtues Project - Speaking the Language of the Virtues, Recognising Teachable Moments, Set Clear Boundaries, Honour the Spirit, and they practise the art of Spiritual Companioning (in the sense of being deeply present to the others in the group). 

Promotion

Some Virtues Connections also focus on how to promote The Virtues Project in their communities.  They begin with a practice such as a Virtues Pick that honours the spirit, then spend some time consulting about how to promote The Virtues Project.  These groups may make presentations in their communities,  provide parenting  or personal development workshops for the community, and / or bring trainers for further development into their area.  They may provide time for each member to share what efforts they are making in using The Virtues Project in their home or workplace, ending with Virtues Acknowledgements for those efforts. 

The local Virtues Connection may become even more structured and form a non-profit based trust in which they pool together money brought in from workshops to help fund advertising, brochures, or training allowance schemes for people in their areas.   Such a group would likely have officers such as a treasurer and secretary to help distribute the workload.

What are the boundaries set by Virtues Project Inc. for Virtues Connections?

*    Observance of copyright

Please do not use the phrase “Virtues Project” in your name.  You can be the Canterbury Virtues Connection or Virtues Connection Kapiti.  Local groups or individuals can advertise that they are offering Virtues Project workshops or that they are Virtues Project facilitators, but please do not use the copyrighted words “Virtues Project” in the name of your business or support group. 

If you wish to publish new materials to support your efforts in promoting the Virtues Project, such as books, videos, games, music or teachers’ aids, please get copyright permission first from VPI if you are using any material directly from The Family Virtues Guide or Sacred Moments. (See Leader’s Manual for more specific details.)

*   Honouring the Spirit

Please begin your meetings with some sort of practice which will support the sacred or honour the spirit.  A Virtues Pick, sharing uplifting quotes, sharing what Virtues each person is bringing, a short guided meditation are some examples of this.

*   Promote harmony

This project is truly based on the sacred texts of the world’s religions.  Virtues Connections that represent diversity of faiths, culture and understandings show the integrity of this foundation. 

Want to get a Virtues Connection started?

Virtues Project NZ can offer further advice and encouragement about starting a Virtues Connection in your area.  We maintain a database of all people who have taken Virtues workshops or bought materials through the us.  We can put you in touch with others in your area and with other Virtues Connections in New Zealand.  A quarterly newsletter is also available to assist individuals and groups with ideas for promotion, support and networking.  Contact Ellen Ramer on 03-329-4380 or eramer@xtra.co.nz