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Nan Kanagy
FS 522: Spiritual Formation in the Congregation
Ministry Project
April 13, 2004

Spiritual Formation Ministry Project

For my ministry project I would like to explore spiritual guidance with EMU undergraduate students, both in individual spiritual direction and group spiritual direction. I am currently a resident director in Hillside suites and have various opportunities for ministry in the dorm as well as with the larger student body.

The stage in the faith journey of young adults varies from person to person. However, most students who come to Eastern Mennonite University have made a commitment to Christ at one point in their life. At EMU, they are looking for ways to not just sustain their faith and relationship with Jesus, but to go deeper and learn more and new things concerning the Bible, spirituality and how we function as humans in relation to God.

Throughout this year the opportunity to pray with students has always been present. There are many issues that they struggle with and often just want someone to help guide them toward God and being aware of his presence. Every time I have inquired about praying with a student, they have accepted graciously. Several times I have had the opportunity to inquire about the origins of a person’s faith, their journey and current commitment to Christ. These have been enriching conversations.

The following outlines are meant for individual and group spiritual direction. Young adults especially are looking for direction, guidance and encouragement in their life purpose and vocation. These outlines are designed to include space for God’s gracious presence to direct and guide young adults to the presence of Jesus and to help them hear his voice.

Outlines for Individual Spiritual Direction and Guidance

Ministry Project A

What: Being a spiritual companion, preparing a time to hear God.

Who: Young Adults

Where: A quiet space with candle lit, clean environment

Meeting frequency: Once every other week

How: Lead in one of the following outlines each time we meet

 


Outline #1 - Rest

  1. Begin with informal conversation for a few minutes. Ask her about how the week has been, etc.
  2. Pray, inviting the Holy Spirit’s presence and that we would be able to hear God.
  3. Explain the purpose and outline for the next while together. The purpose is to listen to the voice of God, learn from the Holy Spirit and to deepen our relationship with Jesus.
  4. Time of Silence
  5. Read about Rest
    1. “God works in us while we rest in him.” – Peter of Cellas
    2. Genesis 2:1 – 2:3
    3. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. 2And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. 3So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation
  6. Psalm 62:1-2,5-8 a few times Lectio Divina style.

1 My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
5 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.
6 He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
7 My salvation and my honor depend on God [1] ; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah

  1. Silence – Then invite the student to break the silence whenever she’d like, sharing about what she has sensed God doing, or has she been hearing from God. Ask how her soul is being cared for.
  2. Listen, learn, companion
  3. End in prayer, thanking her for coming.

Outline #2 – Hope

  1.  Begin with informal conversation for a few minutes. Ask her about how the week has been, etc.
  2. Explain the outline of the time together. Ask student to remember that this is about listening to and learning from God.
  3. Pray, inviting the Holy Spirit’s presence and that we would be able to hear God.
  4. Time of Silence
  5. Read about Hope
    1. Psalm 5:2
    2. Psalm 20:2
    3. Psalm 33:20-22 (Lection Divina style, reading it several times)
    20 Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and shield. 21 Our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. 22 Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.
  6. Invite the student to break the next time silence/listening whenever she’d like, sharing about what she has sensed God doing, or has she been hearing from God. Ask how her soul is being cared for.
  7. Silence (for as long as the student needs)
  8. Listen, learn, companion – ask if there are any specific things that she would like prayer for.
  9. Pray together acknowledging God’s presence and movement. This can also be a time of spontaneous worship with singing or even silence if needed.
  10. Close with a blessing: Loving God, I present _________ before your mighty throne. Thank you for her life. I pray that your hope would be real to her as she works, lives, _________(name other specific things) within your presence. I pray that _________ will know your Son Jesus more and in turn, have hope. Amen.

Outline #3 – Peace

  1.  Begin with informal conversation for a few minutes. Ask her about how the week has been, etc. Share the outline and purpose of the time (to live in and listen for God’s peace) with the student.
  2. Pray: Father, Son and Holy Spirit we invite your presence here. We know you have been here already. Thank you. Make us aware of you God. We invite your peace to reign. Amen
  3. Read the following:
    1. Psalm 18:2-3 (New Living Translation)
    The Lord is my fort where I can enter and be safe; no one can follow me in and slay me. He is a rugged mountain where I hide; he is my Savior, a rock where nothing can reach me, and a tower of safety. He is my shield. He is like the strong horn of a mighty fighting bull. All I need to do is cry to him – oh, praise the Lord – and I am saved from all my enemies!
    1. Read John 14:26-27
  4. Time of Silence
  5. Read John 14:22-27

22 Judas (not Judas Iscariot, but the other disciple with that name) said to him, "Lord, why are you going to reveal yourself only to us and not to the world at large?" 23Jesus replied, "All those who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and live with them. 24Anyone who doesn't love me will not do what I say. And remember, my words are not my own. This message is from the Father who sent me. 25I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. 26But when the Father sends the Counselor as my representative--and by the Counselor I mean the Holy Spirit--he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I myself have told you. 27"I am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid.

  1. Lection Divina - Read verses 26 and 27 several times, inviting the student to imagine she is there, with Jesus. What is he saying into your life about peace, or other things?
  2. Invite the student to sit in God’s peace in silence – Before silence, invite the student to break the silence whenever she’d like, sharing about what she has sensed God doing, or has she been hearing from God concerning his peace. Ask how her soul is being cared for.
  3. Listen, learn, companion
  4. End with Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr.

GOD, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living ONE DAY AT A TIME; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace. Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it. Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen

Outline #4 – Light

  1. Begin with informal conversation for a few minutes. Ask her about how the week has been, etc. Share the outline with the student as to the purpose (to focus on the light of God and listen to what Jesus has to say to us) and goal of this time together.
  2. Pray: Father, Son and Holy Spirit we acknowledge your presence here. We know you have been here already. Thank you. Make us aware of you God. We invite your life and light to reign in our hearts. Amen.
  3. Invite the student to light a candle, noticing what it looks like. Invite the student to look at the flame for a while, being aware of God’s presence.
  4. Read John 8:12 in various translations

(New Living Translation) 12 Jesus said to the people, "I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won't be stumbling through the darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life." 

(The Message) 12 Jesus once again addressed them: “I am the world’s Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in.”

(New Revised Standard Version) 12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’

(New International Version) 12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

  1. Silence – Before silence, invite the student to break the silence whenever she’d like, sharing about what she has sensed God doing, or has she been hearing from God. Ask how her soul is being cared for. Has God revealed anything about his light in her life?
  2. Listen, learn, companion. Invite the student to pray silently or out loud as the Spirit prompts, thanking God for his light, illumining on situations, circumstances, etc.
  3. End with this different version of Lord’s Prayer:

Our Father who is in Heaven, let your name be Glorified! May your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil for the kingdom is Yours! The power and the glory are yours too! Forever… amen!

Outlines for Group Spiritual Direction and Guidance

Ministry Project B

What: Leading Group Spiritual Direction

Who: Young Adults, ideally a group of 4 to 6 people

Where: A home or church room with candles, etc.

How: Lead in the one of following outlines when meet.

Outline #1 -Rest

 1. Begin by welcoming everyone. Light a candle and pray.

Materials needed: crayons, candles, Bibles, pillows, journal or paper

2. Explain to them that we will be taking some time to talk about rest and to actually practice resting ourselves. We will also take a good amount of time to rest in God. Explain the outline and what will happen during the next 30 to 50 minutes.

3. Invite them to take a comfortable position anywhere in the room, being able to rest.

4. Invite them to reflect on a time when they felt very rested. What was it like? Invite them to continue reflecting in silence.

5. Read about Rest with times of silence in between. Invite them to draw a picture of rest, more specifically what comes to their mind when the Psalm is read. Each one will have a Bible/handout to look at the verses.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. 2And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. 3So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation

1 My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
5 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.
6 He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
7 My salvation and my honor depend on God [1] ; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah

 

6. Journal, draw, rest for 10 to 15 minutes

7. Then invite them back to the group. Pray and thank God for the time alone with him. Invite one student to begin, sharing about what he or she has been drawing, hearing from God or anything else.

8. Listen, learn, companion to each person.

9. End with a blessing for God’s peace and rest to be present in the participant’s hearts.

Group Spiritual Direction

Outline #2 - “Children of God!”

 1. Begin by welcoming everyone. Light a candle and pray, inviting God’s Spirit to move among us and in us.

Materials: Bibles, crayons, paper

2. Explain to them that we will be listening and learning about being children of God. Explain the outline and what will happen during the next 30 to 50 minutes.

3. Time of Silence, inviting students to be aware of God’s presence and what that means.

4. Invite them to take a comfortable position anywhere in the room, being able to rest. As they go to their spot, have them pick up some crayons and a piece of paper.

5. Read about being Children of God with times of silence in between. Invite them to draw a picture of being a child of God, more specifically what comes to their mind when the scripture is read. Each one will have a Bible or handout to look at the verses.

I John 3:1-8

1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, [1] we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.

4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 5But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. 6No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

6. Invite students to Journal, write words that pop out of the scripture on to the paper

dolls or spend time praying. 10 – 15 minutes. Invite them to answer the following questions:

1. What are some characteristics of a child who know he/she is God’s child?

2. Imagine yourself as a child of God. How can you see yourself being different than before?

3. What specific situations come to your mind that you need to remember ? Commit those to God, asking for the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit.

7. Invite everyone back to the group. Pray and thank God for the time alone with him. Invite one student to begin, sharing about what he or she has been drawing, hearing from God or anything else.

8. Listen, learn, companion to each person.

9. End with a prayer of blessing.