Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Our covenant as a community on the path

1- Be here: Commitment to be here each week by each of us is foundational to all we do. Sometimes, however, some of us must be absent, but we recognize that the whole group is diminished if we are absent, so each of us will make every effort to be here. We honor each other by being here on-time and staying for the whole session.

2- Confidentiality: We are building a safe place together so that each of us can discover our path with God. This is a sensitive subject. We will be sharing our lives past and future together. Repeating the personal details from our conversations – gossiping – is never permissible. It destroys the safety of our group. Yet the concepts and insights we gain are worth repeating. Use common sense.

3- Respectful Sharing: We discover by sharing with each other with respect; no one should dominate the discussion or attack anyone else. Arguing is not sharing. Side conversations divide the group. Silence is permissible; no one must speak unless they want to. No one need share what they are not comfortable sharing. Changing the subject to pursue your own agenda is not respectful of others. Be honest. Each of us is responsible to ensure that all may be heard.

4- Respectful listening: Sharing means listening to each other – actively – by focusing our attention on the person who is sharing and the topic at hand. Active listening is a conversation, a dialogue – not a debate. Don’t interrupt. Don’t interrogate. Don’t presume to judge. Stretch yourself to listen with your whole being. Body language counts. Let God fill the silence.

5- Prayer: We pray together. Prayer is part of our conversation as a group; we begin each evening in prayer and we will end in prayer. Prayer can be with words, with movement, or in silence. Truthfully, there are infinite ways to pray just as God is infinite. God hears all prayers, so we must be careful to respect each other for how each of us prays.

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