Journey groups

May 6, 2009

Two years ago CMF created the Spiritual Leadership Team (SLT).  The purpose for this was to have a group that focused on the overall spiritual health of the congregation, including issues of pastoral care and visioning, similar to a role often referred to as deacons or elders.  The Visioning part of the SLT Job Description reads: “—to pay attention to the spiritual vitality of the congregation and voice together signs of health and struggle.  – to explore potential areas of growth for the spiritual life of the congregation.  – to help the congregation live out its covenant and overall mission.”

This past year one of the topics of conversation and creative interaction within the SLT has been in regards to creating space within congregational life for there to be groups that meet together to focus on the spiritual journey.  We have spoken with churches who are already doing this, done some reading, and put out some initial invitations for CMFers who have interest to help create such groups.  We are in the process of better clarifying what these groups could look like, having decided to call them Journey Groups.  Our hope is that there can be opportunity for those who desire to gather together around a common focus, sharing and supporting one another in the spiritual journey.

The reflection time after the sermon this past Sunday highlighted for me that there is a wealth of thought, experience, and insight that we have to share with each other.  I appreciated hearing people’s thoughtful engagement with what it means to carry “the name of Jesus.”  There are, no doubt, many reflections behind all of those reflections shared from which we could learn much.

At this point, SLT is hoping that there may be interest in beginning one or two or three Journey Groups in the fall.  We’re not sure what they may look like and, frankly, not sure the best way to balance providing structure and helpful guidelines with the freedom of groups forming on their own around a shared interest.  We hope to gain more clarity and have a better description of what these groups could look like over the next several months.  Please feel free to talk with me or Judy Vander Henst with thoughts.


One Response to “Journey groups”

  1. To Joel Miller/The Whole Peace Blogger,

    This month many Israelis are celebrating the 61st anniversary of the creation of Israel.

    Yet, the 15th of May marks the 61st anniversary of what Palestinians observe as Nakba Day.

    Nakba is the Arabic word for “catastrophe,” which refers to the Palestinian people’s displacement and dispossession that began during the creation of Israel and continues to this day.

    To mark this important anniversary, I hope you’ll watch our recently produced two-minute video dealing with the effects of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the continued Palestinian dispossession. View it at:

    (After you’ve seen it, please take the time to tell your friends about it.)

    We believe that addressing what is happening today in the occupied territories – as well as acknowledging and understanding what happened in 1948 – are key to building a lasting and just peace in Israel and Palestine.

    We hope that our new video will illuminate some of the realities of occupation in the West Bank.

    We ask you to:
    • Watch the video on our website:
    • Embed on your website/blog:

    • Use the link to send a letter to your representatives. Urge them to stop using our tax dollars to create barriers to peace in the Middle East
    • Forward this message to your personal and professional networks

    Thank you for your help. By working together, we can help bring about a just and lasting peaceful solution in the Middle East that will indeed be cause for celebration.

    Nicholas Ellliott
    Chicago AFSC Middle East Peacebuilding Intern

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