|Sunday Service Zoom Room Breakout Gatherings:|
Are they useful? How can they be more enriching?
Even before the pandemic herded us online, UCOG was moving away from the “sage on the stage” Sunday format to a more interactive worship experience. An interactive experience sharpens our listening skills, helps us take the Sunday topic deeper into our lived experience, and affords us the venue for developing spiritual companionship with one another. We are on the frontier of this idea—the guideposts have not been codified yet—but we are learning! The following suggestions have been proposed as ways to maximize our use of the one-on-one Zoom breakout rooms during our Sunday morning service. If you have other suggestions, please let us know by emailing us HERE.
Before the breakout rooms:
Actively listen to the sermon/talk as a preparation for sharing—what speaks to you? What is useful? Meaningful? What might be useful to someone else? It seems plausible that we will be more prepared to incorporate into our daily lives any Divine Ideas presented if we are actively listening as preparation for sharing. As those in recovery programs know: you have to give it away to keep it. This is a potent way to take these ideas into your lived experience.
During the breakout rooms:
Remember, this is a chance to practice the art of spiritual companionship. What makes a good spiritual companion includes:
Staying on topic: Reporting what you heard from the morning’s topic or the weekly reading is a precious gift to those in your group; it is form of ministry! Use “I” statements; no fixing one another!
Sharing the time: Making sure everyone gets to take a turn is mindfulness/loving kindness in action.
Actively listen to your Zoom room companions. Notice: Are you interested in what they have to say or are you only interested in telling your story? Could you report what they said to another, while maintaining confidentiality? Remember, interesting people are interested!
After the breakout rooms: Be prepared to share, briefly, what you learned from your spiritual companions during the Zoom breakout group that you just participated in (keeping confidentiality), what you heard in the morning sermon or an insight from the week’s reading. What about the morning’s topic was discussed in your group as being meaningful/useful? Share, briefly, how the experience in the breakout room furthered your spiritual companion experience/efforts. What value did you see in practicing spiritual companionship with this group? Limit your sharing to no more than two minutes! Two minutes is actually a very long time in this setting. We will ask Will to resume his timekeeping and remind us with a bell, just like he did when we met at the Chamber!
Rev. Eileen Ramsey leads the conversation—The four aspects of an ending and the gifts they bear.
We continue with Chapter 4 in our study of Finding Yourself in Transition (Using Life’s Changes for Spiritual Awakening) by Robert Brumet. The author tells us that, as a culture, we tend to rush through endings, not realizing those endings might just be a Divine Appointment to further us along our Spiritual Path. Yet we can discover a deep richness in slowing down the rush to examine our experiences of “disengagement,” disidentification,” “disenchantment,” and “disorientation.” If we dare to become willing, we just might discover our true selves, our true nature, and our soul’s purpose.
See you Sunday! Eileen