“If anyone loves me, he will keep my word,
@@and my Father will love him,
@@@@and we will come to him and make our home with him." John 14:23

 

 

Starting out

Many groups meeting regularly for lectio divina have grown from personal contact and individual invitations.

However, your situation may be different: 

  • you may be in the situation where after-Mass conversation has a long tradition of being about families and practicalities and everything but the spiritual life;
  • you may have a group that has been established for some time, but is at that awkward size where it is ‘too big for one and too small for two’, or where several members have left the area;
  • you may simply wish to share this gift with others that you do not yet know and reach a wider audience than you can by individual conversation.

 This section is about introducing a community or Parish to lectio divina and reads like a campaign plan.  So, before launching into it, some health warnings:

  • this is not the way to form a group, more a selection of useful ideas from which to choose depending on your circumstances;
  • do rewrite. Your publicity will be more effective if it is in your voice;
  • do pray. There are no explicit references to this in what follows, but remember this can only be a holy service supported by prayer.

 Weekly bulletins or newsletters

This may be the only approach open to you, in which case you may want to use a wording such as this:

Make sure you have prepared what to say to those who contact you: probably a brief description of what lectio divina is and what you or/and others have got from it.

Also, make sure you know what your next step is. Are you going to invite them to meet 16 February, 2015them when would be convenient and make a decision and get back in touch with everyone when you have a clearer idea of the amount of interest? If the latter, do let people know when you will contact them again.

It is worth running this for two or three consecutive weeks and then publicising the date and location of your first meeting for two weeks in a similar way:

 

(There is some benefit in not having a standing invite in the bulletin but rather inviting people back at the end of each meeting.)

 Even in this case, it would be worth seeing if you could support your appeal with a poster.

 If you have started your group in this fashion, it would be worth devoting a greater amount of time at the introductory meeting to talking about lectio divina.

 A talk to the community

You may be able to arrange to talk to the community, perhaps at the end of each Mass one Sunday or as part of a Parish exploration or planning day or some other appropriate event. If so, aim to put out ‘teasers’ in your bulletin or/and posters for a few weeks before:

 A possible structure for such a talk might be:

  • an explanation of what lectio divina is, with more or less history depending on time available and your interests;
  • how you would see it working in your community;
  • what you feel the benefits would be to individuals and the community as a whole;
  • an invitation to people to contact you/attend a specific meeting/event.

 If speaking in public is not your gift, you may wish to ask one of the authors of this website to speak on your behalf.

 Parish/Local Churches magazine

You may be able to introduce people to lectio divina through an article with a similar structure to that suggested for the talk above.

WHAT IF?

What if only one or two people get in touch or/and we cannot find a regular time to meet?

Use the section LECTIO DIVINA ALONE and consider other ways of sharing your thoughts – perhaps by mail or prayer diaries.

What if so many people are interested that the group is too big?

Too big for the planned venue:

Is another available?

Could someone else host the meetings?

Too many for effective sharing:

If the venue allows, split into smaller groups for the lectio divina itself (after the introductory prayer and reconvene for social time if you are following the scheme in HOW TO DO IN A GROUP I or HOW TO DO IN A GROUP II. You will need to brief the leaders of sub-groups. If this is not possible then you may have to set up several groups, supporting the leaders using the material in this pack. Once again, contact the authors if you need further help.

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Page last updated on 16 February, 2015