Our hope when people become part of our community is that they form deep, spiritual, trusted, and trustworthy friendships. This, the ancient tradition teaches us, is the natural habitat for spiritual health.
We hope friendships form here that are safe enough to speak about our lives honestly and authentically. We hope our groups create spaces where people talk about the things in life that are not going well and let them invite us to growth. When our groups are safe enough, when we react badly in daily life, we can ask ourselves and one another about the core wound that is driving us. We can think together about our primal needs that are not being met and that needs our attention.
Do that for a while and the people you do it with become quite dear.
That’s why we form groups at NRCC—to create spaces where spiritual friendships can form. Our hope is that as we get to know one another, we build this kind of closeness.
Here are a couple of the kinds of groups that get the ball rolling:
Life-Story groups are fun! A couple times a year, we gather a few minutes after church to form these groups. The format is simple. Groups form with 3 or 4 four people and meet 3 or 4 times. Before the group begins, we make some confidentiality commitments, and then each time we gather, one person tells the story of his or her life. There’s usually food. Folks ask questions. At the end, we go home happy.
As humble as that sounds, we’ve found these groups to be powerful. When we know someone’s story, trust comes more easily, and affection happens more naturally.
Life-Story groups change the culture of NRCC. When we engage with one another in this personal way, we become less organized-religion-like, and more family-like.
And storytelling is fun!
So when you hear the invitation, join in. It’s better than staying home and watching TV that night!
We gather a couple of times each year for Discovery Dialogues. We sit at round tables, eat together, and a group moderator guides us through a set of questions that help us tell our spiritual stories. We listen to one another talk about our experiences of the spiritual, the Divine.
The dialogues teach us to speak of spiritual things without fear of judgment. They are designed to get us talking without comparing or contrasting our experiences with one another. They help us develop the important spiritual skill of listening deeply.
We’ve found the dialogues to be a gift we give each other. Together we create a space for anxiety-free, judgment-free conversations about our spiritual lives. They deepen our lives with one another and help us see ourselves and one another through different eyes.
Listen for the announcement and join in. It will be worth your time.