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Silent worship is a time spent sitting in silence--perhaps praying, reflecting, meditating--seeing if one can obtain new insight and renewing one's grounding in goodness and peace. When someone has an insight they believe will enrich they group, they are welcome to share and each individual is welcome to reflect on it, build upon it, or ignore it. After one person speaks, the group returns to silence until another person feels a similar call to share. Some of these gatherings pass without a single person sharing (the whole group sitting in silence for one hour), others are about half silence, half sharing. About five minutes into the silence one person will stand up to share a few guidelines about silent worship (please sit in silence with us until this time). After one hour, we will end the regular silent worship time and individuals will be welcome to stay (as late as 9pm if they would like) to chat and to share anything that's on their mind, including anything they are hoping for guidance or support on.
The topic for this gathering will be "Lessons from Children and Youth". Discussion is open-forum, with a moderator, and will look at the following questions: 1. What character traits of children are necessary to leave behind as we age? What traits of children do you not usually observe in adults that you think could enhance adult life? 2. Why do you think people lose these positive traits as they age? What does this say about our culture? Is there anything that can/should be done to help people maintain these traits into adulthood? 3. On the flip side, are there any behaviors you have observed in children that are not just inappropriate for adults, but morally problematic? What might such traits reveal about human nature? 4. Since you've been an adult, have you had interactions with children that have taught you anything? Are there some lessons that only a child could teach us? 5. Several cultures consider people adults around age 12 or 13, while psychology suggests people are not usually fully mature mentally until around age 25. It's probably appropriate to consider people aged 12-25 separate from "children" and from "adults". What do you think can be learned: (1) from the "adolescent" stage of life as a biological phenomenon, (2) from typical behaviors of this age group, and (3) from the positive or negative ways people this age engage with social issues? Note: This group was organized outside of Meetup and all events will have more people in attendance than listed on the Meetup site (usually 5-8 people).
Format: At every Bible discussion, there are three passages read from the Bible. We go around the room taking turns reading until we are through one of the passages, then allow a brief period (usually 2-3 minutes) for silent reflection. After about this length of time, the first person will rise out of the silence to share how the reading speaks to them. Everyone else is welcome to share after this and to ask each other questions. When discussion starts dying down, the moderator will ask the group if they are ready to move on to the next passage. Then we will follow the same format for the next two readings. Ideology: There is no curriculum for this study. The passages we read at each meeting are a result of going through the Bible sequentially in three different places. The aim is to have a discussion that is "Spirit-led". This means as little formality as possible, but it also means each person remaining grounded in an honest, humble, and pure-minded search for truth. What to bring: In order to take part in our group reading, please bring a Bible or a phone on which you can look it up. Any translation is fine. It's actually been kind of fun for us to each read from a variety of different translations and to share any differences.
The topic for this gathering will be "Lessons from History, Scripture, and Fiction". Discussion is open-forum, with a moderator, and will look at the following questions: 1. What role do stories from history, from Scripture, and from fiction, play in our understanding of the world? Are these underappreciated avenues for understanding? 2. What are some lessons from history, Scripture, or fiction that are relevant and needed in today's world? 3. What can be done to increase society-wide awareness of these lessons? Note: This group was organized outside of Meetup and all events will have more people in attendance than listed on the Meetup site (usually 5-8 people).