Our Sacred Circles small groups meet monthly to reflect on the month's theme. These groups are a primary way we connect with each other. Sacred Circles groups use Soul Matters packets as the starting point for reflection. These packets offer a unique approach:
Experience the Theme, Don't Just Analyze It.
We know that spiritual development requires more than analysis of a topic. There is a deep hunger in all of us for experiential engagement. Honoring this, each packet includes a number of spiritual exercises. Participants choose one spiritual exercise to experiment with for the month. For example, for the theme of wonder, options included creating an ode to an ordinary moment, taking an "awe walk", or collecing "awe stories" from family and friends as a way to invite conversation. These spiritual exercises bring the worship themes to life as participants are challenged by and inspired by their relevance in everyday life.
Questions to Walk With, not Talk Through.
In traditional small groups, questions are an opportunity for the group to think together, going through each question one by one. Soul Matters engages reflection questions differently. We see them as tools for individual exploration and spiritual discernment. Instead of asking small groups to go through the questions and discuss them one at a time during group time, Soul Matters participants read all the questions ahead of time and find the one question that “hooks them” — the one that speaks to and challenges them personally. Participants then live with that question for a couple weeks leading up to the group, coming to their meeting not with an answer to each of the questions on the list, but with a story about how their one personally chosen question led them to deeper, personal insight. Again, this technique leads us away from abstraction and intellectualizing and challenges us to think about how the topic (and question) applies to our daily living.