One of the most important benefits of joining a
congregation is the mutual support that members can provide to each
other. One way that The Humanist Assembly of Washington State provides that support is through a group exercise called "I know Somebody Who . . ."
It can be a lot of fun and a huge help for members
having problems, who have friends or relatives with problems, or are
just looking for general advice.
You begin by writing questions on note cards. The
question can be really simple: "I know somebody who always cooks their
turkey until it is too dry to eat. What is the best way to keep a
They can be very
personal: "I know somebody who found out that a friend is cheating on
their spouse, should they tell the spouse?"
It might be something about themselves or someone they
know. They don't have to say which. Then everyone in the group gives
them suggestions for how to address the problem.
Everyone sits in a circle and the Pastor reads the questions in random order. Anyone can begin or chime in at any time. The first person to talk brings up a question that's been bothering them.
Just talking out questions like this can be a big help. You may get some useful advice, and you will feel the support of your community. Because you don't have to name names you can ask your questions and give advice anonymously.
This technique shares and combines the best parts of other classic support systems. Just like Alcoholics Anonymous you get the support of a group. Because the questions are read by the Pastor, it is as anonymous as a radio therapist call in program. Churches have known for centuries that talking about challenges and getting advice can help, just look at the Catholic Church and the confessional, or evangelical churches and their practice of "witnessing" during services.
Come in and give it a try. It might help you or you might be able to help somebody else. This is how Humans can help each other. No supernatural mumbo jumbo required.
"I Know Somebody Who . . . "
Our regular services are held on the 3rd Wednesday of
each month from 7 - 9 pm in North Seattle and online.