Spiritual Companionship Themes (to begin our gatherings and meetings with a grounding in our faith)
We encourage each of our ministry teams, fellowship or service groups–from the Board of Elders to the property committee–to integrate spiritual formation into their “business” meetings.
Groups are asked to set aside time at each meeting to connect with God and with one another and with God.
Here’s this month’s suggestion for a spiritual discussion theme:
Our Annual Congregational Meeting always starts a new church year. And so February is often the first time a Ministry Team or Standing Leadership Group meets with new people at the table. If there aren’t new people, why? Are there new people who this group might ask or should try to bring to this table? (When Michael arrived at Old First, one of the challenges he suggested was that every time people of the church gather, we should have a commitment for their to be someone new in the circle!)
When an established group opens up to include new people (and likely has seen former members leave), it’s a different group. And as it says in the UCC’s Book of Worship, “our church is always changing. People come and go…”
As we get started over again, we will all be changed by the new people and relationships around our leadership circles. But new groupings also provide an opportunity for people who’ve been at the table to become someone or somehow new.
Thinking about the opportunities the “shuffling around” that happens as people follow their changing gifts and callings, can we begin this new season by sharing around three questions. (People are invited to share as they feel comfortable and are always given permission to pass).
But first, let us remember how Jesus can help us see and be seen (Matthew 8:22-26):
They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”
He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”
Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.
Now, let’s try some sharing:
- Who do you think other people see you as?
- Who do you sometimes pretend to be?
- As opposed to the first two questions, who could you say you are?
After people share, the group might gather up what has been offered with prayer…