Listen to the Spirit… adapt as needed…
stay longer where you are drawn…
“As a primary means of formation and continuing growth, members come together on a regular basis in a stable local community, to assure a deep sharing by members of their faith and human life, a true community atmosphere and a strong commitment to mission and service.” – CLC General Principles #11
Suggested song: In the Secret (I Want to Know You More) by Chris Tomlin
Prayer begins where we are, as we are. Let us take some time to be present and aware of ourselves, our bodies, our breathing, our states of mind, our hearts, our spirits…Let us become more aware of God…
Lord, thank you for gathering us today to meet and create sense of home, a warm and inviting space where we can listen, share, and become better friends with one another and with you.
Jesus’ first disciples came, saw, and stayed with him for awhile (Jn 1:38-40). Help us to do likewise. May we encounter you as we experience one another. Amen.
During the meeting, let us pay attention to what’s going on within each of us; let’s notice various feelings and movements of the Spirit as they flow through us. Let’s begin by sharing how our hearts are doing as we come to the meeting. Normally in a CLC meeting, this check-in portion is meant to be a brief sharing about how each of us is doing physically, emotionally, and spiritually as we are in this moment. It is not meant to be a way to review everything that has happened since we last met but rather a way to briefly touch-base in a focused way before moving forward. Please share for a few minutes about how you are, based on the following questions:
- Since the last time we’ve met, what has given you life or drawn you closer to God?
- What has drained you of life or drawn you away from God?
- Please describe any significant encounters with God in prayer, service, or relationships with others.
Print out the reflection handout “A Sense of Home” and make a copy for everyone. Ask people to take turns reading the handout aloud (reading everything before the “Moving Forward” section).
Please re-read the reflection in silence and underline any parts that resonate with you or speak to you.
Listening and Sharing
Let us take some time to reflect on the following questions and share when we are ready:
- Which relationships (with individuals or groups) help me to “come home”? How am I concretely cultivating this sense of home?
- Can I consider cultivating this sense of home with this group/CLC? In what concrete ways might I be being invited to do so?
Thank you everyone for sharing and listening. We now have an opportunity to listen deeper and reflect to the group what we have been hearing during this meeting. We are going to take a minute or two of silence. Let us pay attention to what is taking place within each of us and among us. One of these questions may help:
- What struck or resonated with you as you listened to others share? Do you notice any patterns or similarities?
- How have you been feeling throughout the meeting? Comfortable? Anxious? Energized?
- What remains with you? What might you take home to listen or pray about more?
Thank you to those who hosted the meeting. Thank you everyone for being present and participating. Let us remember and lift-up one another in prayer, for any special intentions which may have surfaced through our conversation tonight.
To continue with this theme of building “home,” let us use the suggested reflection and Scripture for prayer on the bottom of today’s handout under “Moving Forward.” However you use the Scripture to pray, please try to do so several times a week. If you are not familiar with different ways to pray with Scripture, don’t worry. We will try a few in the coming meetings.
Remind everyone about the date, time, and place of the next meeting.
If time permits, invite people to offer petitions out loud, then conclude with something like:
Dear God, thank you for gathering us together, for the opportunity to reflect on our senses of home. Thank you for the chance to begin building a home together. Help us to continue being open to you and one another as we are being formed as a group. May we go in peace, carrying the graces you have blessed each of us with through this meeting. We ask this through Christ, our Brother and Lord. Amen.