Create Space to Explore Our Calling Together
We begin by consecrating our time and space together, offering scripture, poetry, and music to bring us closer to one another in the presence of God.
Next, we learn to listen for what the mystical theologian Howard Thurman called the “sound of the genuine” in ourselves and each other. We share stories that reveal the ways that God is showing up (maybe even calling us!) in each of our lives.
This practice has both outward and inward aspects. We create space to explore Christian vocation by allowing physical space to mediate the presence of the Spirit. We arrange chairs in a circle acknowledging an equality of grace and giftedness before God. We arrange sacred space in the middle of the circle (candles and an icon or other sacred symbol), acknowledging the presence of God both within and among us.
We use scripture, poetry and other evocative readings to bring us into relationship with the sacred mystery that guides our lives and to breach the distance that often lives between ourselves and that mystery.
Equally important, we create space by turning toward one another – introducing ourselves to each other, establishing a conversational etiquette, or way of common understanding, for how we will show up for each other in this space of practice.
Finally, we create space by sharing stories from our lives that echo the questions and truths that we each bear within us. Our stories have their way of creating another layer of sacred space among us. Like Scripture, stories bear important messages about how God is showing up for each of us. As spiritual writer Paula D’Arcy puts it, “God comes to each of us disguised as our life.” We tell our stories to know who and whose we really are and appreciate what messages, what indications of God’s leading they contain.