Group Spiritual Direction
But for as long as we can live in this sacred space of receiving and releasing, and can learn to speak and be love’s fluency, then the greater love that is God brings a continuous and enlarging air into our existence.
-Poet Christian Wiman
Group spiritual direction creates a container for deep, spiritual hospitality. This sacred space holds our receiving and releasing, our speaking and our being. A facilitated gathering of people who commit to support one another’s relationship with God through confidential and prayerful presence, group spiritual direction provides an intimate and transformative spiritual community.
In group spiritual direction, 3-5 individuals meet together for a predetermined series of sessions to discern God’s presence and direction in their lives. Through the sharing of their own sacred stories and through prayerful listening to one another’s stories and to the Spirit, individuals may
•uncover and trust their own experience of God
•expand their range of listening for God
•grow as a discerning person
•find encouragement on the journey into God
Since God is present in all aspects of our lives, the sharing of one’s story may include experiences in relationships, work, recreation, reading, prayer, etc. The listening of the group facilitates the relationship between the individual and the Spirit while allowing the Spirit to be the guide.
What is required of group spiritual direction participants?
Participants are willing to share their own relationship with God and also invite others to look at one’s life and respond prayerfully. Participants learn to listen and speak according to guidelines which promote deep listening and keep us from attempting to “fix” or “solve.”
Sessions typically last 2-2.5 hours and take place in my office at the Wellness Collective.
What does a group spiritual direction session actually look like?
I usually begin a session by grounding us in God through a reading, scripture, song, or prayer. We follow this with about 10 minutes of silence and then an invitation is offered for someone to share when ready. This “focus person” shares for 10 -15 minutes while the group offers silent, prayerful presence, listening without interruption.
We then share 3-4 minutes of silence as a means to make space for God, remaining open to a word, image, or question that each listener may share upon invitation from the facilitator. The focus person is then given a short opportunity to respond, either with an insight or connection made through the sharing or simply with a “thank you.” We follow this sharing with a silent prayer of thanks and intercession for God in the life of the focus person.
This invitation to release, receive, speak, and be is repeated until all have had an opportunity to participate.
Do I participate in a group with people I know or people who are new to me?
Either! I have facilitated group spiritual direction for groups of friends or acquaintances as a means of deepening their spiritual connection and fostering new levels of intimacy. I have also facilitated groups with folks who began as strangers but, through their group work, forged unique bonds of support and encouragement for one another without any expectation of meeting outside of the group.
For more information on group spiritual direction:
Contact Lorilyn to find out about the next group being offered or for more information.