Week One Guide for Groups

Gather together as a community. Open with some time for connecting and socializing, then leave about 45 minutes to an hour for the time of practice and discussion.

Discuss This Week's Practices

If you are in a community of ten or more, consider dividing into smaller groups. Spend a few minutes catching up on life, then talk through the following questions:

- Have you tried either of the practices from this week (Anchoring Yourself in God's Compassing, or Practicing Positive Speech)? What was it like for you?

- Have you found practicing positive speech to be difficult in your life? What are some challenges to embracing positive speech and saying no to negative speech?

- What are some things that help you receive your identity as a beloved child of God? Is this a new way for you to think about God or your identity?

Practice Prayer Together

After your discussion, spend some time practicing prayer together. To build on our practice of "Anchoring Yourself in God's Affirmation," here is a form of prayer to try out. We will be centering ourselves around the truth that we are beloved sons and daughters of God by meditating on scripture together.

1) Start by inviting everyone into a comfortable position. Set aside anything that could distract you from this focused time of prayer – phones or plates of food for example. Have great respect for how challenging it can be to be fully present - only here, only now, and for the sake of this prayerful practice you will do together. Be patient. Let people have the time they need to get settled.

2) Open with a spoken prayer asking the Holy Spirit to help guide this time of practice. Something like this: “Holy Spirit, we seek to make ourselves completely available to you. Father and Son and Holy Spirit, we want this designated amount of time to be governed completely by what You want for us as a group, and more hiddenly, to each of us in particular. Give us the Light we need to see, and in seeing, to understand. Holy Spirit, guide us now as we pray...”

3) Invite everyone to focus their attention on God's presence and get comfortable in the silence. Be reminded that God is closer than the air that we breathe. Then, read Luke 3:22 aloud. Pause for 15-20 seconds, then repeat Luke 3:22 aloud again. Continuing reading and pausing for about 4 minutes. Then, end the time of practice with a closing prayer aloud.

Luke 3:22: “You are my beloved. With you I am well pleased. With you I am satisfied.”

Closing Discussion

After the time of practice, consider using these prompts for a brief discussion.

- How was that time of practice for you? Was it challenging, boring, difficult, meaningful, etc?

- How do you see yourself engaging with the practices the rest of this week?

- How can we be praying for you this week?