My congregation is in transition, with our previous pastor having taken another call and an interim in place (she’s great). As part of getting ready for our search process, we’re organizing a series of small group discussions using a set of four big questions. And it struck me that these four questions could be a great program for a Women of the ELCA retreat or day of reflection.
Depending on the size of your group and the time you have available, you might spend 10 or 15 minutes on each of these questions.
- When have you had an experience of the Holy? Describe where you were, what was going on, who was with you, how it felt.
- What’s unique about us, our group, our circle, our organization now? What’s at our heart and soul today? What defines us at this moment in our history together?
- What is God calling us to do or to be in the future? What direction should we be headed in? Where should we be going?
- What gets in the way of our going there? What are some things we do now that don’t help us toward the future God is calling us to?
When we did a practice discussion session, we found we had an awful lot to say about every one of these questions. Wow! We could have talked for hours.
Try it out for yourself. You can ponder these questions at home in your journal, or bring your group together and spend an hour on them. And please share what you learn! It could be helpful for other WELCA women.
Audrey Novak Riley serves on the churchwide staff of Women of the ELCA. Photo by Jim Veneman of Willie Mae Harris during a study group at Augustana Lutheran Church, Houston.