February 7, 2015
Willamette Quarterly Meeting workshop
Corvallis Friends Meeting, Corvallis, OR
We will spend the morning considering the Quaker practice of deep listening, clearness and discernment in small groups focusing on the use of Peer Groups for mutual spiritual support and accountability in small groups.
PURPOSE OF PEER GROUPS:
- The purpose of the peer group meetings is to help pay attention to God’s presence and activity in the life Friends who are carrying out a ministry or following a leading. The peer group practices provide ongoing support and help with discernment for the members of the group.
- During a typical two-hour session two people will each have the focus of the group for about one hour. Each focus person presents something about her/his experience in carrying out a ministry or leading (this can include the ministry of spiritual nurture or eldering).
- The role of the group is to prayerfully listen and, as prompted by the Spirit, to ask questions after a presentation is over that can help the presenter explore more deeply her/his relationship to, awareness of, and response to the Divine in carrying out her/his service.
- This process is more like group spiritual nurture for the presenter than it is like a clearness committee. Ideally, the group meets on an ongoing basis; in rotation, each member of the group will have a regular opportunity to be the focus of the group’s prayerful attention.
To “listen” another’s soul into a condition of disclosure and discovery may be almost
the greatest service that any human being ever performs for another.–Douglas Steere