- Begin to build a community that will nurture our individual and corporate spiritual growth.
—a particular nine-month community
—building on a lifelong community of Friends
Assumption: we will be nurturers of each other, and our lives will change, and our Meetings, Quarterly Meeting, Yearly Meeting, community and world will benefit.
- Create a space in which we can tell the story of our spiritual journey to each other, and expect to have our story listened to tenderly.
Assumptions: that we will strive to speak our authentic truth plainly, and experientially, using the words with which we are comfortable. That we will struggle to listen through the words of others to hear the experiential truth behind them.
(Douglas Steere: Holy listening—to “listen” another’s soul into life, into a condition of disclosure and discovery, may be almost the greatest service that any human being ever performs for another.)
Expectation: We will hold what happens in confidentiality.
- We will deepen our intention with regards to the divine, and commit to finding spiritual practices that supports our intention.
We will support and hold each other accountable throughout the nine months, and possibly beyond, in this effort.
Assumption: the more fully that folks participate, the more valuable the experience will be for all. Likewise, the experience of others will be made less valuable when individuals only partly fulfill their commitment to the program.
Expectation: folks will make every effort to attend all sessions.
- We will form small spiritual friendship/accountability groups and create a schedule for meetings.
We will think together about how these groups can function effectively. We will take responsibility to regularly evaluate and corporately work to improve the functioning of these groups. We will do so with courage, honesty and integrity.
- We will think together about the skill/art of devotional reading.
We will meet monthly in regional groups to share our reactions to assigned readings on faith and practice.
- We will practice praying with and for one another.
- We will gather to check in with each other.
- We will reconnect with the larger community and hear about our work, our progress, our struggles and our joys that we have experienced in the nine months of the program.
- We will name spiritual gifts we have seen in each other, and work to identify and claim our own gifts, with the support of our community.
- We will work to get clarity on what we are called to be and do in service of the Divine (our ministry: where the world’s greatest need meets our deepest joy).