Rubric for the Opening Session the Sacred Paths Group at All Souls Church
Led by Daniel Gregoire and Peter Burger
- Words of Welcome and Introductions
- Welcome to the Group!
- Introduction of the group leaders
- Introduction to nature and purpose of the group
- What are some of the things we hope to accomplish and feature as part of our program
- Group leader’s sources of inspiration
- Prayer within the Unitarian Universalist tradition -Using Erik Walker Wikstrom's book Simply Pray
- What is said in the group stays in the group
- Limitations of non-disclosure including threats to self, others or children
- referral to the ministers if needed
- Frequency of meetings
- Consistent participation
- Mutual support
- Creating an environment of safety and trust
- Respect for differing perceptions of the “Divine”
What is your name and if you could create a personal bumper sticker for your car or bicycle what would it read?
What does Prayer mean to you?
- Recited Prayer
Peter will read from a Psalm selection (We can start a tradition of people reading prayers that they bring into the group)
- Introduction to Journaling
Journaling as a tool to focus attention on important issues and as a prelude to prayer
- Activity 0- Naming the Divine
Participants will be asked to think about their relationship to the divine. We could do this popcorn style or go around the circle depending on the group dynamic.
- What do you call the divine?
- What is your proximity to the divine?
- What are the top three attributes that you ascribe to the divine presence in your life? (i.e. Love, Power, Hope)
- Activity 1 - Writing
Using a piece of paper, write down your name for the divine and the top three attributes. Follow this by listing 30 things that you are grateful for. If you are not able to think of things in your personal experience consider the mundane (such as air, water, MTA, “I woke up this morning”)
- Activity 2 – Praying Out Loud!
Participants will be asked to spend 5 minutes recite prayers out loud using the lists they created to give thanks using such formats as: “I thank God for the….”; “I give thanks for….”; etc using whatever appellation for the divine that feels appropriate.
How did it feel to pray? Did it bring up any feelings (i.e. hope, anxiety, fear, joy etc)?
Bring a prayer to share with the group. It could be something that you compose yourself and bring from a sacred text of your choosing.