Suggestions for Group Leaders
Meeting Four: Third Week of Lent
We give suggestions for each week’s group meeting, but it is up to you to organise how you feel best.
Feel free to move things around, omit or add things; you must feel comfortable with your meeting.
Begin with tea and biscuits while people gather and are welcomed.
You might like to set the scene with a centrepiece, maybe a candle and cloth of Lenten colours.
Outline of Meeting
We suggest beginning with tea and biscuits while people gather and are welcomed.
1. Opening Prayer
– Take a couple of minutes of quiet prayer
to ask God to be with you during the meeting. Pray that God might speak to
the heart of each person in the group.
- Ask each individual to go over their prayer times
this week; give them a moment to consult their journal.
You might ask them:
3. Imaginative Contemplation
- How did you find praying the Scripture or the other meditation?
- Did time seem to drag, or did it go quickly?
- Did anything surprise you?
- Did any of the Scripture passages or other meditations have any special meaning for you?
- How did you feel over the week?
- What is God saying to you?
Lead the group through an imaginative contemplation.
Before you start, prepare a story from the Gospel that you would like to use.
In the example below we shall assume that it is the reading given for day
12, the Second Sunday of Lent - the Transfiguration.
Take a Break:
- Stilling: Begin with one of the stilling exercises you did the week before last.
- Awareness of God: Become aware you are in the presence of God.
Dedicate this time to God.
- Seek Guidance: Ask God to guide your imagination at this time of prayer.
- Desires: Be in touch with what gift or grace you want to ask God for at this moment. Ask God for your deepest desires.
Suggest that the grace to ask for today might be to "Know Christ more clearly,
Love Christ more dearly, Follow Christ more nearly."
- Listen to the Story: Familiarise the group with the story. Have someone in the group read the whole passage slowly.
- Set the scene. The three disciples and Jesus walk up a hill.
Imagine the hill, is is high, grassy, wooded, rocky; What sort of day is it, sunny, overcast, hot or cold?
Give the group plenty of time between your setting the scene questions to imagine for themselves.
Remember, people find it difficult to imagine when you are talking.
Choose one of the characters in the story, and see the action from that person's point of view.
You could be Peter, James, John, Jesus, or perhaps even a shepherd on the hillside watching the four.
Be aware of the four people as they climb the hill. Are they talking or quiet, relaxed or tense?
Jesus moves a little apart from the others;
His clothers appear brilliant white.
Two others characters appear. Jesus is talking with them. Can you hear what they are saying?
How do you feel in front of this sight?
What do you imagine is happening?
Do you know who the other two people are?
Peter makes the suggestion of building three tents. What do you think of this suggestion?
You notice a cloud covering the top of the mountain and you hear a voice.
"This is my Son the beloved, listen to him".
How does this make you feel?
When you next look up, Jesus is alone.
If you are one of the disciples, what is the reaction of you and your companions to all that has taken place? Do you talk to each other, if so, what do you say?
- Talk to Jesus: Speak to Jesus in your own words.
Imagine him speaking back to you.
Do you want to ask him for anything?
- Prayer: Finish with a formal prayer everyone knows like the Lord's Prayer/Our Father.
After a short break it would be good for those who wish to share something of this prayer with the group.
You might ask people to begin with whether they were able to get into the imaginative contemplation.
You may also ask the group whether anything surprised them.
You could also ask what God is saying to them or it how do they feel now.
If you get some good responses from the group, you might suggest
that these are the sorts of things they could note in their journals after
each prayer session.4. Looking Forward
– Make sure the time and venue etc. of the next meeting is clear.
5. Thank everyone for coming.
Leader's Notes: Imaginative Contemplation
This is a way of entering into the
Scriptures, particularly the Gospels.
Use a story from scripture that
allows you to be part of the action, such as today's story of the
As in dreams, you might find interesting and unexpected
things come up.
See the method layed out on day-12 as the
Explain that this prayer is the interaction between Scripture and the
imagination and life of the person who praying.
This is not the
recreation of history. Everyone will imagine the story differently.
The Holy Spirit can inspire each individual in their prayer to
receive what they need to feel and hear.
Imaginative Contemplation is a
place to meet the God of surprises.
Review of Prayer
When you have finished look back over the prayer.
It is good to model
the review in the questions you ask the group after the prayer in the group.