As a small group coordinator for a Young Adult CLC group, each of us strives to:
- Grow in our own journey of faith
- Facilitate our respective groups
- Maintain a strong connection to CLC beyond (local area, national, cultural groups)
- In order to better serve others, we remain rooted in the Ignatian principle of Cura Personalis, or caring for the whole person. Our commitment to continually growing in our own journey of faith is integral to this way of serving. We cultivate this growth by:
- Attending regular meetings with our groups
- Praying regularly
- Going on retreats and/or days of prayer
- Integrating service into our daily lives
- Striving to live with integrity
- Overseeing all the activities involving our small groups as both spiritual animators and coordinators of events. We realize this by:
- Gathering our groups to meet regularly (weekly, bimonthly)
- Planning each meeting in the spirit of CLC and Ignatian Spirituality
- Fostering an atmosphere of openness and trust through an attentiveness to each member
- Exploring opportunities to integrate service into the daily life of the members, and encouraging a common, ongoing mission as it emerges for the group
- Calling forth the gifts of group members and empowering them for service and leadership
- Working with a Guide or spiritual mentor to be more attentive to supporting the group’s ongoing growth
- Serving as a bridge between our group members and the local, cultural, national, and world community. We accomplish this by:
- Sharing information about prayer resources and upcoming retreats with the group
- Inviting and encouraging members to attend events that connect the wider communities of CLC
- Encouraging members to sign up for the CLC newsletters and visit websites of interest
Ways to Encourage Open, Honest Sharing In Small Groups
As leaders we are called to help create a safe space where members can share honestly and openly. The group can be an opportunity for people to come in contact with their most authentic selves and begin to share that with others. We foster a space where we can all grow –particularly to grow spiritually with God and others- rooted in truth and love.
The following are some helpful guidelines to encourage this honest sharing
- Confidentiality: Establish the confidence that what is shared in the group is sacred and a gift to be treasured.
- Openness: Rather than speaking from the head or discussing a topic, speak from the heart (meaning a deeper, more personal, more authentic place) and encourage members to do the same. This involves sharing what we feel, how things affect us, or what meaning they have in our lives.
- Vulnerability: When we share vulnerably, we create the space for God to enter, for others to grow, for greater self-acceptance. Speaking from the heart takes this kind of openness and trust. It is not being weak, but rather vulnerability takes strength and courage.
The following concrete practices can also encourage openness in the group.
- Listen deeply & seek to understand
- Respond rather than react
- Speak from your heart, from your own personal experience
- Be respectful: refrain from debating, criticizing, or interrupting
- Give advice only when explicitly asked