A Group Leader′s Preparation
A Few Preliminary Thoughts
1. Although for Scripture Reflection and meditation we recommend a process ― really more of a flow or a progression ― we should remember it is a family gathering. It is a coming together of members of the Household of God to know Him better through His Son, Jesus Messiah with the help of the Holy Spirit. It is therefore a homely and happy occasion in which all should be relaxed and, literally, feel at home. Our meetings should always reflect, therefore, a blend of appropriate dignity, enjoyment, fellowship, and pleasure at being with one another.
2. Leaders never need to feel they must be Biblical Scholars or founts of all knowledge. Our Lord Jesus Christ appointed His Church as guardian of His teaching and that guidance is made available to members at all levels of ability. You will gradually develop a collection of sources where you can obtain that assistance at a level which is genuinely helpful. It may be books or modest pamphlets; it may be courses and lectures or discussions with your parish clergy and others whose advice can be trusted. We do advise however, not to take all sources as of equal reliability. We recommend you check these with your local clergy.
There are many approaches to meditation. You will have noticed that what we offer here is Scripture Meditation: Lectio Divina. It is, in a nutshell, an approach to knowing, loving and serving God better through our Lord Jesus Christ His Son: the Word of God. Whenever we think of Sacred Scripture, or reflection on it, or even just meditation, we always think of Christ the Word. This fact, among others, distinguishes us from many groups who talk of Christian meditation. Our documents and practices are therefore linked to the traditional teaching of the Church, from which it is our ernest wish never to deviate.
In our various introductory papers, particularly in Jewish Origins we explain the Hebrew Catholic connection. You will notice how we take great care to explain the organic and historic links and at the same time, to emphasise the fulfillment we observe in the transformation of all things in the Light of Jesus Messiah.
We recommend leaders, and indeed group members, read these papers, and, if at all possible, discuss some of the principal ideas in some form of instructional workshop. It is important never to over-cram any session about Scripture Meditation. The best approach is to build up gradually an understanding of this very special pursuit and let it unfold at the right speed for you and your group. One of the simplest ways to do this is to print off a copy of a paper from the Internet web site. You can then read this at your leisure, write on it, highlight key ideas, add your own thoughts, and so on. This personalising of our material is important. Although it is copyrighted for protection, we make it available so you can copy it for your own use, and make copies available for your group.
We recommend you have a regular meeting time if at all possible say ― Friday evening as an example. This will allow you as leader to prepare ahead of the group, in order to help them unfold the chosen Scripture for the upcoming Sunday Eucharist.
Our recommendations regarding your own preparation as a group leader or facilitator are very straightforward.
1. Follow the Weekly Workshop ― Phase One routine three to four days, if possible, before your group meeting.
a) Do your own digging around the text and looking up any source reference you choose, or ―
b) Print off an Internet copy of our Reflections, for the relevant week and work through the text using our paper as an aid. You can still divert to supplementary study guides if you wish. Consider the evangelistic aspects highlighted in our three points in The Gospel To Every Creature, or write your own.
2. Pray about the text and its message.
Mull over thoughts and issues the Holy Spirit highlights for you.
Situate the particular passage in the larger Biblical scene or current life of the Church if you find it helpful to emphasise relevance to your group.
3. Assemble your thoughts in a few notes you can have in front of you as you guide your group.
We wish you every blessing as you can contribute to this immensely important apostolate with the Church.