Change in Meeting Dates
Because the Episcopal Church Women’s monthly meeting is the second Saturday of the month, Fr. David has decided on the following schedule of Saturday meetings that will not conflict with ECW. Our first small listening group will meet on the following days from 10am to Noon: September 18 and 25, and October 2 and 23. A second group will begin October 30 and continue November 6 and 20, and December 4 and 18, also meeting 10am to Noon. Please contact us if you are interested in joining either Small Listening Group.
Engaging the Spiritual Heart: Small Listening Groups at SsAM
Father David invites you to participate in a 5-week-long Lay Listening group. The first group has already begun but you can still join it. Below are comments from the folks who joined Father David last year and their invitation to others to take advantage of the new groups.
After reflecting on their experiences, click here to contact Father David to participate in one of these groups.
Previous Participants Extol Small Listening Groups
“It was so hard getting through the pandemic. Isolation and fear and frustration were constant companions. But there was a light in all this. I signed up to be part of Fr. David’s listening group. It literally got me through. Each month we met via Zoom to pray, center, learn, and share our deepest fears and emotions. We were a group of seven, and each one of us had the opportunity to share our faith journey and to appreciate the varied journeys of others. It brought us closer to each other, and closer to God. I especially enjoyed delving deeper into the ancient Benedictine practice of lectio divina. The scriptures came alive for me, and now I use the method any time I read a passage from scripture. To hear how the passages from scripture touched each mind and heart in the group was a gift. Most important, however, the group formed a bond through the practice of group and centering prayer. We brought our needs and the needs of others to God, and we all joined our minds and hearts in thanksgiving for God’s loving mercy on us. I hope others get the opportunity to spend a small portion of time once a month to experience this unique faith community. You will grow. You will feel the compassion of others. And ultimately you will renew the loving presence of God in your lives.”
“When I first signed up for this monthly, Lay Listening Group, I did so to connect with ANYONE! We were six months into the Pandemic, and I missed my church family. I loved listening to each Spiritual Journey, as each one of us had a unique path, we still are on our own path, but for nine months we intersected, learned, listened, and were there for each other. Fr. David’s leadership into prayer, and learning how to really listen, not with just my ears, but more importantly, with my heart is an experience I will always treasure. I hope the three sessions of the 5 week course is taken advantage of, it is so well worth the time.”
“I always have too much to do, but when Father David asked me to be part of a Lay Listening Group last spring, I agreed. Much of our meeting time was spent simply being quiet and listening for God’s word. There was also time to delve into a few lines of scripture at every meeting. Even better, we took time to hear from one person at each meeting as they told the story of their faith, how it began and where it took them. Now Father David is inviting you to join one of three groups this fall! I encourage you to take him up on his offer. No matter how busy you are, you have time to slow down and listen.”
“The opportunity to spend time contemplating a Scripture passage in a small group always appeals to me. There’s always a new perspective of your own or someone else’s no matter how familiar the passage is and just as wonderful when it’s a piece I’ve never seen before whether from Scripture or another spiritual source. The time spent in Fr David’s Listening Group was gave me many fresh thoughts about the Scripture we read as well as having great interaction with the assembled group. I knew all the names but not all the people and have made new friends and deepened other relationships through the individual stories shared and the safe space given to share my own. It was spiritually satisfying, enlightening, and we laughed a lot along the way. Go For It, I will again.”
“The past 18 months have been fraught with worry for me. Just like everyone else I have experienced the stressors of COVID. For me, though those stressors were compounded by the additional worries of elderly family members and a sibling who is disabled as well as family who work in healthcare and are others who are medically fragile. I also had my own well being to be concerned about. Being unable to meet in person as a worshiping family took its toll on me. I found myself becoming a little too concerned with the temporal affairs of the world around me and feeling quite overwhelmed with how I could effect a change. (I was raised with the admonition, ‘If you’re going to do something, don’t do a half-assed job of it.’) I felt that anything I could do would not be enough and that something would be lacking.”
“The Listening Group helped me to refocus my attention and recenter my heart’s mind to realize that what I was able to do would be sufficient, and that God would fill in where I fell short. I did have some difficulty with practicing Lexo Divina, it was something that I was not accustomed to doing. I usually take scripture at face value and look for its applications throughout my day. Lexo made me think about and meditate on the lessons we were discussing. Sometimes I had a thought to share, other times I just listened to other’s thoughts. Either way it was an experience through which I grew in understanding of not just scripture but, of those in my discussion group. I would invite you to join the upcoming Listening Group. There is a new horizon to be discovered, one just has to look for it.”
Father David says, “I hope you will join me and others this fall. Again, please contact me if you want to meet in either of the groups.
Fr. David+, OA