Bringing the Spiritual Formation Program to your meeting can be a wonderfully enriching experience for the meeting; allowing members and attenders to talk with one another about their spiritual lives in a non-judgmental, supportive and worshipful atmosphere. Over the years the Spiritual Formation Working Group has offered the program both to individual meetings and to groups of meetings. The design for the program has been honed through a great deal of prayer, thought and discernment.
We have sometimes found that people often assume that the program is like a book group and therefore don’t see the need to attend the beginning retreat. It is important to convey that this is not the case; rather the first retreat creates the groups, allowing them experience working together in a positive way. They have many meaningful experiences together during the first retreat so it makes it difficult for someone who has missed the retreat to “catch up.” The retreat sets the tone for the entire nine months and does much to insure the success of both the reading group and the small spiritual accountability group. Therefore it is essential that all participants attend the opening retreat.
Below is an outline of the roles and responsibilities for the Spiritual Formation Collaborative (SFC), the meeting, the Oversight Committee, and the participants. This assures a smooth working relationship.
Role of the Spiritual Formation Working Group:
a. Provide letters of confirmation to the participants the meeting has identified.
b. Provide facilitators and design for Opening, Mid-Year, and Closing retreats.
c. Provide guidance as necessary.
d. Provide list of readings by month.
e. Identify material for participant packet.
f. Charge a fee per participant to maintain the program.
Role of the Meeting:
a. Provide a minimum of 12 participants. Provide contact information to working group
b. Provide an Oversight Committee including a contact person.
c. Share this document with all the oversight committee members.
d. Pay the per participant fee to the SFC/PYM.
Role of the Meeting Oversight Committee:
a. Create a budget of anticipated expenses and sources of funds for meeting approval.
b. Provide a facility for retreats.
c. Provide food and lodging (if needed) for retreats.
d. Provide clerical assistance, such as making copies of materials and name tags for retreats.
e. Provide oversight and support to participants throughout the year.
f. Coordinate dates for retreats with SFC. Clear them with collaborative before publishing them for meeting participants.
g. Obtain and distribute reading materials selected by the Spiritual Formation Collaborative (available from FGC or Pendle Hill).
h. Collect funds and pay bills.
Role of Participants:
a. Attend all retreats, reading groups, and spiritual friendship groups.
b. Develop a regular spiritual practice.
c. Read and discuss material.