SMALL KAIROS GROUPS: some guidelines
All Kairos groups – and those groups who associate with
Kairos Southern Africa – should:
- Reject all forms or racism, sexism, classism, and phobias such as homophobia,
Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, etc.
- Seek God’s face especially
in the most oppressed, poor and marginalised.
Different kinds of Kairos groups:
We need to think about the different kinds of Kairos groups
that could be formed. What it is called is not important, but it is important
that it follows an action-reflection or see-judge-act method AND that it
attempts to network with other such groups:
- It is possible to have a once-off discussion at a church about a particular
topic where the see-judge-act or action-reflection method is followed, to write
it up and to send it to Kairos Southern Africa for consideration. One example
of this could be an evening on the Palestine-Israel question where the DVD
Occupation 101 is shown and people break up into small groups to discuss what
they have seen and share their reflections afterwards. The small groups might
be encouraged to continue but there might not be another such big group
discussion for a while or if there is, it might be about another topic. The
good thing about this is that there is no pressure upfront to meet again.
- The second possibility is to have a group of students who meet at regular intervals
on campus to discuss a particular topic. This might evolve into something more
permanent or it could remain a once-off or adhoc reflection-action group.
- The third possibility is to have a group who meets regularly at a house. This could
be once a week or once a month and it could be an ecumenical group or one that
is based in a particular congregation and that then invite other people to
- Then, a geographical group (within a municipality) could also meet on a regular
- An interfaith group could also be a Kairos group. There needs to be a high level
of sensitivity and knowledge and respect for different religions to be able to
talk from the different faith perspectives on a particular topic. A topic such
as corruption could easily be discussed in a group like this.
- A completely open group, where people of faith and those of no faith could also
be a Kairos group.
- “Seasonal groups”: Some groups might want to meet for only a specified period of time, eg
LENT, PENTECOST or ADVENT.
- Time and age groups: Some groups might only want to meet at certain times (eg. “I
cannot come to meetings in the evenings”) while some might only want to meet
with young people.
- Language groups: Some people might only feel comfortable speaking in a particular
language and while as much cohesion as possible should be encouraged, this
possibility should not be excluded. People should be able to meet in groups to
interact in the language in which they “dream”.
- Place-bound groups: Some people are bound to a certain place for a period of time eg. in a
prison, and some Kairos groups should be allowed to meet in certain places.
- Gender groups: Some groups might feel that it is important to meet in particular gender
groups to discuss issues that are common to the members of that group.
- If the distances between people are too far, then transport is definitely a
- If it is an ecumenical or interfaith group, the group leader must be skilled to ensure
that everyone feels welcome and must have a respect for all denominations.
- If it is a group that also includes those who explicitly regards themselves as
humanists/non-believers, then that needs to be managed as well.
- What about “virtual groups”? This should be discouraged as far as possible, unless
it is across borders, since human interactions, being in the same “breath”
space, is important for the building of human relationships.
- Resources? Kairos SA can develop resources for groups to discuss.
- Training of group leaders? This needs to be done by Kairos SA although there are many
people who are already trained and we should identify these individuals as the
Do’s and dont’s:
- Kairos groups must be inclusive of everyone who wants to be part and no-one must feel
excluded or marginalised. In a group where the majority speak one particular
language, a person who is not acquainted with that language must be included
either by translations or by the whole group speaking a particular language.
- No-one must be allowed to dominate to such an extent that the others feel that they
will not come back to a next meeting. For dealing with such people, the leaders
must be fully trained and firmly ask the person not to say anything until
everyone else has had a chance to speak.
- The Gospel reading for the coming Sunday could be the guiding text for those who
wish to start meeting immediately.
- Once a group with the above intentions are formed, please inform Edwin Arrison at
firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can know what is happening and where,
and so that we can connect you with other groups in your area.
- The blogspot www.kairossouthernafrica.wordpress.com
will be the hub where information will be shared until a website has been
launched. There is already some liturgical material, prayers, etc on this
- If you have any more comments to strengthen this document, please send it to Edwin
on email and it can be incorporated in a future document.