Discussion Questions, Storytelling, Sharing
- Go around the circle and have each person list three things they are faithful to.
- Talk about the different stages on your journey of faith. What was the religion of your birth family? When did you experience your first doubts? Did you ever fall away from your faith in God? What drew you back? What new experiences of faith do you look forward to?
- Share a story about a dark time in your life when your relationship with God was a source of strength.
This exercise, "A Clean Heart," is developed from Marcus Borg's metaphor of spirituality as the hatching or softening of the heart. It also recalls the plea from the heart expressed in Psalm 51:10.
Breathe out three times. See and sense yourself opening your chest and taking out your heart.
Examine it carefully in the light, noticing any shell that has formed around it and any hardness of its surface. Smell your heart for signs of anything trapped inside.
Breathe out one time. If your heart is covered by a shell, break open the shell, releasing anything trapped inside. Where your heart is hard, gently massage it, telling it that you love it. Sense how your heart is getting softer and more flexible.
Breathe out one time. Clean your heart with whatever tools you need (a feather, a small brush, a broom). Notice if anything is written on your heart. Sense and know that a right spirit is being put into your clean heart. Holding your heart up to the light again, notice how it looks and feels. Then place your heart back inside and sew up your chest. Then open your eyes.
Write a personal creed. To organize your thoughts, you may find it helpful to look at a statement of faith used in a religious liturgy. Or begin by listing "Beliefs I No Longer Have" and "Beliefs I Now Have." Other useful headings to use in preparing a creed are: Who I am? What Is Happening in the World? What We Are Here For? What Is Valuable? What Can I Do Now? How Do I Know Spirit Is Moving in My Life?