Companions in Christ
Companions in Christ enables you to immerse yourself in the spiritual disciplines of prayer, scripture, study, worship, and Christian conversation. There are two primary components 1) individual reading and daily exercises throughout the week with the Participant's Book and 2) a weekly two-hour meeting. The aim is to move you from information (knowledge about) to experience (knowledge of). The commitment for the daily exercises is about thirty minutes.
An important part of Companions in Christ is keeping a personal notebook or journal. The process of writing down our thoughts clarifies them for us. It also provides a record of what we have been experiencing inwardly over time. The journal may be kept in any style that suits you. You need not worry about making it sound beautiful or about writing with good grammar and spelling. You don't even need to write complete sentences! Jotting down key ideas, insights, or musings is just fine. No one will see what you write; you have complete freedom to share with the group only what you choose.
The material in Companions in Christ covers a period of twenty-eight weeks divided into five parts or units, as well as an introductory meeting and a closing retreat. The five parts are as follows:
- Embracing the Journey: The Way of Christ (five weeks) – a course in Christian spiritual growth as a journey toward holiness and wholeness, individually and in community, by the grace of God.
- Feeding on the Word: The Mind of Christ (five weeks) – an introduction to several ways of meditating on and praying with scripture.
- Deepening Our Prayer: The Heart of Christ (six weeks) – a guided experience of various forms and styles of prayer.
- Responding to Our Call: The Work of Christ (five weeks) – a presentation of vocation or call: giving ourselves to God in willing obedience and receiving the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit.
- Exploring Spiritual Guidance: The Spirit of Christ (five weeks) – an overview of different ways of giving and receiving spiritual guidance, from one-on-one relationships, to spiritual growth groups, to guidance in congregational life as a whole.
During the weeks that you participate in Companions in Christ, you will have the opportunity to focus on your relationship with Christ and to grow in your openness to God's presence and guidance. The unique aspect of this experience is that your searching and learning will be encouraged by other persons in your small group who are indeed your companions on the journey. As we listen and explore together, we will surely meet our loving God who waits eagerly to guide us toward deeper maturity in Christ by the gracious working of the Holy Spirit.
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