Betsy Hearn, one of our qualified IDI administrators, talked with me about the Welcome Team session. The group started with a discussion about culture: what do we mean by it, and what do we know about our own culture. The facilitators used the iceberg metaphor, which says the majority of what makes up culture is “hidden,” to explore what cultural differences might look like. Then they reviewed the IDI continuum and the different stages of development. It was the first time Nick had seen the IDI continuum. “It made sense,” he said. “I could see myself at different times in my life.
Members of the Welcome Team group had what she described as a “healthy conversation” about the practice of welcoming. How have we learned to do it, and is that how someone else might want to be welcomed? What is the role of the Welcome Team? Betsy commented on how multi-layered the role can be, from greeting people at the door, to managing the flow in and out of the sanctuary, to helping people find their way around the building.
As Nick and I talked, he shared his realization that he needs to be more conscious of his own lens, to reflect more in the moment: What am I thinking? How is that affecting my behavior? I asked him how he thought the IDI might affect his ministry. “I never thought of being on a Welcome Team as a ministry,” he said, but he sees how Welcome Teams can set the tone for how people experience Unity Church.
Unity Church has a culture that some might take for granted and find quite comfortable, but may not feel welcoming to some others. The IDI offers an opportunity to become more aware of how each of us experiences cultural difference. The one-on-one feedback session provides the greatest potential value. It can offer a roadmap to help a person further develop their self-awareness and ability to facilitate learning across cultures. Nick is looking forward to his one-on-one feedback and is eager to learn more about what he can do to grow.
Betsy emphasized that there is no right or wrong with the IDI; it is simply a benchmark to grow from.
The individual IDI profile and the one-on-one feedback sessions will help each of us grow in self-awareness and intercultural competence. And that will help us fulfill Unity Church’s stated Ends of building an anti-racist, multicultural Beloved Community.
There’s no charge for the IDI and the individual sessions, although donations to cover the cost are accepted. Anyone interested is encouraged to get on the schedule by contacting Drew Danielson at email@example.com to sign-up.