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Using Everyday Sacred as a Group Resource

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Everyday Sacred is perfectly suited as a resource for small faith groups, groups on retreat, book clubs, and others who wish to journey together for a while in the hope of becoming more aware of God’s presence in their daily lives and deepening their sense of community around that common desire. The following discussion outline offers suggested reflection questions for each of a series of eight gatherings, based on the book’s introduction and seven chapters. With this outline, I invite you to notice and celebrate the sacredness that fills our lives and to share your experiences with others wishing to do the same.

I give you permission to burn the box
that others try to keep you in
(here, borrow my matches).

Between the group’s gatherings, each member is invited to use the contents of the upcoming chapter for daily prayer and reflection. You may find it helpful to use a journal to jot down how you have noticed God in your life, questions that arise within you, what happens during prayer, reflections of your own, or poems that God may give you. If you keep a journal, bring it to the group meetings to facilitate sharing.

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First Gathering—Introduction

  • What is your conversion story?
  • As you enter into this group journey, what are you hoping for?
  • How have you most often and/or most powerfully experienced God?
  • What is your practice of prayer?
  • Have you ever created art as a form of prayer or used art to inspire prayer?

Second Gathering—Nature

  • Which meditation or painting inspired the strongest reaction within you, and what was that reaction?
  • Are there meditations or paintings in this chapter that resonate with your own experience, and if so, which one(s)?
  • Is there a particular aspect of nature that you find reveals God to you more powerfully than others: for example, the ocean, the sky, the earth, animals, or trees?
  • Do you find it helpful to pray outdoors?

Third Gathering—Home

  • Which meditation or painting inspired the strongest reaction within you, and what was that reaction?
  • Are there meditations or paintings in this chapter that resonate with your own experience, and if so, which one(s)?
  • Name three strong memories of your experience of home as a child. Is it apparent to you that God was present during those experiences, and if so, how?
  • What are some of the defining characteristics of home for you today?
  • Do you find it helpful to pray at home, and if so, do you have a special prayer place (for example, a comfortable chair, a candle or an icon)?

Fourth Gathering—Family

  • Which meditation or painting inspired the strongest reaction within you, and what was that reaction?
  • Are there meditations or paintings in this chapter that resonate with your own experience, and if so, which one(s)?
  • Reflect upon your relationships with members of your immediate family, and also your extended family. How is God present (or what is God inviting you to) in those relationships?
  • Does your family experience God as a family, and if so, how?
  • Do members of your family experience God in ways different from you?

Fifth Gathering—Jesus

  • Which meditation or painting inspired the strongest reaction within you, and what was that reaction?
  • Jesus asked his disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” (Luke 9:20) How do you answer that question?
  • Who does Jesus say you are?
  • What is your reaction to considering the humanness of Jesus that is depicted in some of the meditations?
  • What do you wish to say to Jesus now?

Sixth Gathering—Holy Communion

  • Which meditation or painting inspired the strongest reaction within you, and what was that reaction?
  • Are there meditations or paintings in this chapter that resonate with your own experience, and if so, which one(s)?
  • Have you had any particularly powerful experiences while sharing in the Lord’s Supper, and if so, what were they?

Seventh Gathering—Church

  • Which meditation or painting inspired the strongest reaction within you, and what was that reaction?
  • Are there meditations or paintings in this chapter that resonate with your own experience, and if so, which one(s)?
  • What, if anything, do you wish for from church (or another sacred community if you do not consider yourself a member of a church)?
  • What, if anything, do you welcome the church to expect from you?

Eighth Gathering—Living in the Present Moment

  • Which meditation or painting inspired the strongest reaction within you, and what was that reaction?
  • Are there meditations or paintings in this chapter that resonate with your own experience, and if so, which one(s)?
  • What, if any, have been your experiences with death, and how was God present in those experiences?
  • Are there certain practices that you use to help you live more fully in the present moment?
  • As these gatherings come to a close, do you have a sense of how God feels about you right now, and what God wishes to say to you?