NOTE: For our Wednesday, August 25th, meeting we will NOT offer Zoom as an option to meet with us.
It will be IN PERSON only, at this location:
Orchard View Church of God
2777 Leffingwell Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Orchard View Church of God is located at the corner of Three Mile Road and Leffingwell in the northeast part of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Easy access is via the East Beltline. Exit at the Three Mile Road exit.
Leffingwell is on the south side of Three Mile Road between the East Beltline and Dean Lake Road. (You can see the church from Three Mile Road.)
We will meet in the church’s Community Room starting at 7pm. Bottled water and treats will be provided.
There are several reasons for not offering Zoom this month, mostly regarding logistics.
- One of our members who lives on the other side of the state (who usually joins us via Zoom) is driving over to be with us in person.
- We’d like to chauffeur him and another member to and from the meeting. If we had to set up for Zoom, we’d be unable to spend time with our friend from out of town, or the other group member who also needs a ride.
We will probably go back to adding Zoom meetings in September.
Here’s what’s on the docket for our August meeting…
We’re going to shake things up a bit this time. At our last meeting we discussed ways of experimenting with the format of our meetings, as a way of bearing witness to our monastic spirituality. So, starting Wednesday, we will try out some new ideas and see how it goes. (We will still try to set aside a portion of the meeting to discuss Chap. 10 of Fr, Michael Casey’s book: Living In the Truth to finish that up.)
We usually open our meetings with 2-3 minutes of silent reflective prayer. This month, we will begin with a member reading a Psalm aloud to the group, and then we will have the few minutes of silent prayer afterward. This is more in keeping with monastic practice, as the monks recite psalms aloud with short intervals of silent meditation in between, during the daily Office.
We will use a Grail Psalter for this purpose, which is the version the Trappist monks at Gethsemani Abbey use. We will discuss possible use, at future meetings, of personal bibles for Psalm readings, the reciting of Compline together at meetings, and/or use of other prayers/readings from other sources, (perhaps the Little Hours book as one possibility).
The meetings will have a bit more prayer, but are NOT going to become simply a prayer service. We want to finish discussing Casey’s book, as I said, but then take a hiatus from discussing a book each month that the group has been reading together, as has been our practice in the past. We may return to that from time to time, if the group wishes. Now we want to have discussions based on what individuals have read or heard from day-to-day, that have had a meaningful spiritual impact on them. We can learn from one another about prayer practices, spiritual exercises, personal examples of trying to live an authentic expression of the monastic values we have been learning these past three years. We are open to new ideas and suggestions. Perhaps we might watch an uplifting film or have a guest speaker at a meeting. Who knows?
We want to expand our horizon, let the Spirit in, to blow where she wills. So come with your ideas, share your experience, listen for God’s voice speaking in and through you.
All of this will be an experiment, to see where we are led – and what works for us, as individuals and as a group. It is like what we were trying to accomplish when we first met together – that was both mysterious and exciting – and we became a little community together!
Now is an opportunity to take another step on our path.
Who knows what growth it will bring? See you there!