Christophany Groups Update: Iowa
Quest: A New Christophany but Longtime Group
Our group began nine years ago when a handful of friends joined for coffee and sharing their concerns about a church no longer fulfilling their need for deeper spiritual growth and a frustration with exclusionary practices and dogmatic demands. These few were moved to invite other like-concerned friends to begin meeting monthly in member homes on a rotating basis in order to probe these thoughts and concerns together.
Over the intervening years we have maintained our group of between 10-13 members meeting monthly in person with the exception of Covid-times when Zoom seemed to fill the bill. The central practice of our group has been to read and discuss authors that strike a chord with us including Delio, Marion, Morwood, Bourgeault, Rohr, Connato, Merton, O’Muchu and, of course, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. In addition, we have used many written pieces published in the New Creation Magazine. And we have surrounded this work with practices that have included lexio divina, centering prayer, music, chants, poetry and prayer.
Our morning gatherings begin with coffee, pastries and socializing and then on to the spiritual work of the moment lasting a total of 2 hours. We enjoy each other’s company beyond our spiritual practice meeting at other times for an annual picnic and barbeque, attending workshops and seminars together offered by other seekers including our special spiritual partner Pairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center where we also now hold our monthly gatherings.
We have named our little group Quest, as it seems to identify our spiritual journey. We developed a single page explanation of who we believe we are and what we do so that others who may consider joining us can get the picture during the limited times in the past that we have expanded or replenished our number.
Quest: A Spiritual Journey Together
What brings us together?
- A yearning for deeper spirituality in our lives
- A concern with the institutional church’s ability to answer that yearning
- A belief that a deeper level of spirituality can be achieved in connection to the Divine within each other and within creation
- An appreciation of the diversity of faith journeys that we bring together
Why has the institutional church become less an answer to our quest?
- A focus on institutional preservation rather than individual and collective spiritual growth
- Dogma seeming in conflict with the teachings of Jesus, prophets, and spiritual leaders
- Unwillingness of some of the institutional churches to embrace human equality
What are some of our core beliefs?
- We believe in a divine spirit
- We find the divine within ourselves, each other and creation
- We believe that Jesus of Nazareth is, at the very least, a source of great wisdom, spirituality, and the manifestation of cosmic incarnation.
What do we do?
- We meet once each month for 30 minutes of coffee and conversation followed by 90 minutes of spiritually enhancing practices
- We read and discuss publications, view, and discuss videos that inform and challenge our faith
- We share in prayerful thoughts and/or meditations to enhance our connectedness and deepen our spiritual lives
- We follow a process designed to include the thoughts, perspectives, and inspirations of all. Each is asked to:
- Study/Read the material
- Reflect on the material
- What challenges us by the material
- What inspires us by the material
- What Transforms us by the material
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