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Thursday, January 13, 2011
Ask the Matriarch - A Matter of Devotion Edition
A new year in the congregation where I serve brings with it the choice
of a new devotional emphasis. The same is true for the RevGal whose
question we address this week:
My question has to do with devotions for monthly meetings. While of course I've tried many things, I'm very interested in input from the Matriarchs about what they do. I like to ground us in scripture, but finding the right questions that will trigger a good discussion can be challenging, as is the balance between spending enough time to have devotions be meaningful, without making the meeting last far into the evening.
Of late, I’ve found the book, Growing Together, Spiritual Exercises for Church Committees by Rochelle Melander and Harold Eppley to contain a wealth of helpful questions and devotions, all grounded in scripture. The members of my Session have seemed to glean much from it and the questions set a great tone for the rest of the meeting.
And Muthah+ who blogs at Stone of Witness offers a devotional means of reading scripture together:
I found that an abbreviated form of the African Bible Study worked fairly well. Rather than ask prepared questions, have two different persons read the passage—usually fairly short. Then ask what words jumped out at them and why. There is no right or wrong and often brings out some interesting theology or concerns from the group. It also helps ease the ‘agenda-driven’ nature of most boards and refocuses them in the spirit-led tasks they have to perform.
What about your congregation? Are you responsible for determining the devotional focus for the year? Is there a text you would recommend or a means of sharing the faith journey that significantly impacted the governing body's work?
We hope you will share your successes and failures - since we learn from those too!