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 behave badly we have a place to look for core wounds that drive us. We can think together, about primal needs not being met.
Do that together, 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 that 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!
Each Fall, we have a Saturday seminar to introduce the enneagram, a framework of personality that helps us on the spiritual journey. We also form groups lasting from September through May each year, to use the enneagram to explore our spiritual lives together.
It’s a big commitment — nine months! But it is one of the most transformative tools we’ve found for our souls. Listen for the announcement each fall, and join in. It will be worth your time.
Each January we form groups built on self-awareness, and conflict resolution. The purpose is to create an environment in which we can discuss the thing our society is doing such a terrible job discussing. We broach the topics that divide us as a nation (race, politics, etc.), trying to learn to have these kinds of discussions in a respectful, listening, learning way.
It’s difficult. But the reward is learning tangible ways to do what Jesus taught us to do, love one another.