Set up:

Chairs should be arranged where each participant can hear and see the video as well as the facilitator. Because there will be discussion groups, facilitators may choose to use tables, but tables are not necessary. Participants should be able to move their seats around so that they may speak with one another. 

Needed Materials:

  • A way for the facilitator to keep time (a smartphone timer would work nicely)
  • Newsprint or a whiteboard and markers 
  • Audio-visual capabilities 
  • One copy of Signs of Life Practice Sheet per participant

Learning Goals:

The learning goals for this particular Sign of Life are:

  • Connecting the sign of light to personal spirituality or experience
  • Understanding how light plays a role in Christian worship and community life
  • Learning a new contemplative practice that can help participants connect more deeply to the sign of light

Collect (5 minutes)

Gather the groups attention, and open with this collect:

Christ our True Light: when the lights of this world blind and bewilder and its darkness brings us no peace, train our eyes to behold your brightness and enfold us in the healing shadow of your wings, that we may love you by night as by day; who with the Father of lights and the Spirit of truth shine upon us, one God, through endless ages. Amen. 

Watch the Video (15 minutes):

Read the following prompt:

“As you watch this video, pay attention to the various ways light is explored, and think about how light is present in the life and liturgies of your worshiping community.”

Press play and watch the video through to the end. 

Reflection Question (5 minutes):

After the video is over, read the following script:

“Take one minute to think about the answer to this prompt: ‘Tell a story about a time you needed light. Where did you find it?’ At the end of one minute, I’ll invite you to turn to a neighbor. You will each have two minutes to share your experience. One of you will start, and the other should listen. At the end of two minutes, I’ll ask you to switch. When one person is talking, the other should not interrupt. Please listen to your partner.”

Use a timer to give the group one minute to think about the question. At the end of one minute, invite them to share with their neighbor. After two minutes of sharing, invite the other participant to share. At the end of two minutes, call the group back to attention. 

Discussion Groups (15 minutes):

Read the following script:

“Please gather into groups of four or five. You will take the next 15 minutes to discuss the following three questions:

  • Where does light show up in the life and liturgy of your worshiping community? How does light help you tell the Story? 
  • In the video, the brothers talk about how darkness is not just the absence of light, but rather a generative force—seeds grow in the dark. Has this been true in your life, and what new growth happened when you were in the dark? 
  • We are called to be light in the darkness of the world. How does your worshiping community share light?

You will be able to reference the questions here [gesture to where you’ve posted the questions] or on your handout. I’ll remind you when you are halfway through your time.”

Use a timer to remind participants when seven minutes have passed. When there are two minutes remaining, give participants a two minute warning. 

Gathering Conversation (10 minutes):

Ask one person from each small group to share a highlight of their discussion with the larger group. Responses may be gathered on whiteboard or newsprint.

Closing:

Bring attention to the Signs of Life: Light Practice Sheet. Read this script:

“Here is a reminder of the daily practice for this Sign of Life. This week pay attention to light as you move through your day. Remember that Jesus is the light of the world.”

Pray the Signs of Life collect:

Christ our True Light: when the lights of this world blind and bewilder and its darkness brings us no peace, train our eyes to behold your brightness and enfold us in the healing shadow of your wings, that we may love you by night as by day; who with the Father of lights and the Spirit of truth shine upon us, one God, through endless ages. Amen.

Thank participants for participating. The session is over. 

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