The rhythms of this program are twofold:

Solitude

Each participant must be doing the work individually.  Each on their own time, digging into the resources and answering the questions vulnerably, practicing the disciplines of solitude and worship.  Really giving yourself the chance to connect your story to the information and exercises.

Community

Secondly, each participant is will attend a consistent gathering of the whole group.  Within this group each person is expected to be fully present and involved.  This is not intended to be a teaching time or bible study, this a group that lives life together.  We learn each other’s stories, we show up in vulnerability and allow others to do the same.  We celebrate the victories and mourn the losses together.  As Henri Nouwen says, we can bring our solitude (all we are learning and growing in) to the group and each be offering at the same level.  Together we can learn to practice the disciplines of community, vulnerability and care towards others.

 

Community Supported by Solitude

Solitude greeting solitude, that’s what community is all about. Community is not the place where we are no longer alone but the place where we respect, protect, and reverently greet one another’s aloneness. When we allow our aloneness to lead us into solitude, our solitude will enable us to rejoice in the solitude of others. Our solitude roots us in our own hearts. Instead of making us yearn for company that will offer us immediate satisfaction, solitude makes us claim our center and empowers us to call others to claim theirs. Our various solitudes are like strong, straight pillars that hold up the roof of our communal house. Thus, solitude always strengthens community.

-Henri Nouwen