Journey Groups @ CAPC Oakland
All of us need spiritual nurture. In our complex and rapidly changing culture, we often neglect our own spiritual exploration and growth as we try to navigate daily survival. We seek to know God, to know God through knowing each other and being known, hunger for the love and grace of God that we know in Christ. Yet often the needs of others, the problems of management, the tyranny of the urgent, and the unavoidable mundane of quotidian life all take precedent over caring for our deepest selves. This three-month ministry provides confidential, safe space to experience God’s love, to explore one’s spiritual life and questions, to test and experience spiritual practices that may be just what you’re looking for in your life, to further discern the shape of the life to which God is calling you.
- Beginning introductory session
- Monthly or bi-weekly meeting (depending upon the group) ¥
- A closing celebration dinner to reflect on the journey and what is to come
Goals of this Ministry for Participants are to:
- Connect experientially through Christian practices to the work of God in their life
- Enjoy confidential and nurturing space to discover and explore their hopes, ideas, questions and concerns
- Connect with other CAPCers to develop community in which they can be authentic and find support
- Experience rest and spiritual refreshment
- Discern new possibilities in ministry and life and the changes this may require
- Discover sustaining spiritual practices and gain sufficient practice in one or two practices so they become habits and commitments
faith as a journey, a practice, and a communal connection:
The scallop shell is the emblem of James the disciple and an historic Christian metaphor for spiritual journey and pilgrimage. It’s associated with the the thousand year old sacred pilgrimage road that many people take to St James of Campostelo de Santiago in Spain. A journey that is both physical and spiritual, relating to the two layers of the human condition.
St. James was an ordinary pilgrim like the rest of us. He walked a long difficult road with Jesus; he was imprisoned by his raging emotions, and he went through metaphoric fires to free himself and discover the vastness of his spirit. He learned how to live an authentic, peaceful life and he shared his personal lessons with others.
Today, we make the same pilgrimage journey as such people as James. Like him we walk a long often difficult road with Jesus; are imprisoned by our raging emotions, and go through metaphoric fires to free ourselves and discover the vastness of our won spirit. James learned how to live an authentic, peaceful life and he shared his personal lessons with others. Journey Groups are a way for us to undergo a spiritual pilgrimage, without having to travel to Santiago in Spain..
We are we all undertaking our own unique journeys on the spiritual level. They are governed by the lessons that we need to learn, and the people that we are evolving into. No two pilgrims - no two of us - are alike, and though we walk the same roads on the outside, our inner pathways wind through very different emotional landscapes. As a symbol, the Scallop Shell points to this mystery. It has many grooved lines that lead from the outer rim to a meeting point at the base. The shell itself represents the many different spiritual/religious/humanist pathways that lead to the same place, to the universal centre of all life-forms, the spirit, the soul.
Bi-Weekly Group Around John
The first type of Journey Group will be a sharing group that will meet bi-weekly. Each meeting will be a chance to gather and reflect on a 2 chapter reading of the gospel of John. Between each session participants will be encouraged to read through the assigned 2 chapters as often as possible. Then we'll use that story to share about our own stories and how we might be glimpsing God in our lives. Each session will last for 60 minutes.
monthly group around practices
The second type of Journey Group will be a sharing group that will meet monthly for 90 minutes. Each meeting will be a chance to reflect back upon an assigned spiritual practice that group participants will have commit to do throughout the previous month. We'll then use those practices and experiences as a format for sharing about how we might be glimpsing God in our lives. Practices will include: Audio Divina, Silence, and Body Prayer.