Prepare to Meet

Welcome

Thank you for signing up for a spiritual growth group, there are a few things you might want to know as you’re preparing to attend your first spiritual growth group.

Where does the group meet?

The location of the group varies. Small groups meet in homes, churches, other public spaces and online via Zoom or a hybrid of in-person and online. When you choose a group and email the group leader your intentions to join, you will be given the address and directions to get to the location. If the group is meeting online via Zoom, you will be emailed the Zoom link.

Do I need to be affiliated with a certain church or religion to attend a small group?

No. We are a not-for-profit foundation formed to support people in transforming their spiritual lives. All are welcome in spiritual community. For more details on the theological and psychological background of the spiritual growth program, see elsewhere on this site and in the published books: “The Joy of Spiritual Growth” and “The Joy of Spiritual Living.”  

Do I need to bring anything to group?

No, however participants are encouraged to keep a journal so they can observe their progress over the course of the group.

We do offer, for purchase, our Choose Joy deck of cards and books to enhance your experience and be a helpful reminder of the weekly tasks you are working on or to start your own group.

Refreshments are offered at some of the in-person groups however there is no obligation to bring something. If you do want to bring something to share, please speak with your group leader to find out what is appropriate.

Is there a cost associated with attending group?

No. These groups are free. However, if you want to make it possible for us to help more people transform their spiritual lives feel free to donate. Every dollar makes a difference.

What can I expect when I am attending my first group?

Please arrive a few minutes early to get comfortable and settle in.

Groups are relaxed and positive and follow a simple group structure to allow for optimal listening and sharing.

Group structure:

  • Check in: Who are you? How are you? (Your name and a couple mins about how was your day or week)
  • Meditation or prayer
  • Share whatever brief “gem of wisdom” you thought of, read or been told since last session (optional)
  • Report on your experience of working the assigned task
  • Pick a new task and discuss
  • Closing thoughts

*Some groups have social time afterwards where refreshments can be served.

To create a safe environment for sharing during group we follow these group guidelines:

  1. We do not give advice.
  2. We do not interrupt.
  3. We do not engage in cross talk.
  4. We share; we do not preach.
  5. We have the option to pass.
  6. We understand that there are no failures, only opportunities.
  7. We do not identify individuals when sharing our experiences.
  8. We keep confidential all experiences shared within the group.
  9. We start and end meetings promptly
  10. We do not smoke, eat or drink during meetings. *water is accepted

OR the simplified version:

To create a safe environment for sharing during group we follow these group guidelines:

  1. We do not interrupt
  2. We do not give advice
  3. We have the option to pass
  4. We respect confidentiality
  5. We do not engage in cross talk

You are encouraged to share freely, but you will not be forced to do so if it makes you feel uncomfortable. It is perfectly fine to attend your first few groups to listen and learn from the experiences of others.

Can I bring someone with me?

Yes, bringing along a friend or acquaintance can help ease the transition and reduce some stress. However please have the additional group member sign up on the website so that the group leader is aware of who is coming and can give necessary details to each participant.

How many weeks do groups run?

This varies by group. Some groups last for 6-12 weeks for a series or specific topic. Other groups are ongoing and do not have a specific end-time. Some groups may take breaks, switch topics and resume again. Your group leader can explain more about their group trajectory. However, feel free to come and try out a group for a couple weeks and see if this is the right fit for you and feel free to take breaks from group when needed or try a different group. Our hope is that whatever group you attend you feel a sense of community and joy!