Light of the World Parish Retreat

Virtual Small Groups

Light of the World Parish Retreat

Virtual Small Groups

If you're like me, you're trying to get into a new routine, a “social distancing” routine. It’s not just how to get work done from home, but how to fill in our unstructured time. Normally, we have commitments outside the home that put pressure on us - meetings, social events, church events, maybe even Mass. How do we get it all in? We even spend our precious time with each other talking about how we can possibly get it all in. Now that almost everything in our lives has come to a complete halt, we need to figure out a new balance. While we were once lamenting all the things that pulled us in so many directions, now only one week into our “social distancing," we would do anything for some social interaction.

Your Light of the World small group

Your Light of the World small group meets every week, maybe a couple of times a month. Sometimes you can’t make it every week, but you love knowing there are people in your group who have got your back and truly love you and care about you.

Maybe it’s time to keep meeting with them from the inside of your own home.

Each of you can connect in via Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts or if all of you have iPhones, you can meet via FaceTime. All of these are free and available inside your own home, on your own WiFi. All of these methods will have different ways for you to access them depending on the device type and brand you have. With a little online research, you can find helpful tutorials on how to use each of these platforms. For instance, if you would like to try Google Hangouts you could search “How do I start a video on Google Hangouts” and several options come up. I would recommend having your most technological member, or the one with a 12 year old child or grandchild lead the charge. They can send out a link for all of you to connect on.

Okay, you're connected... now what?

There are a lot of possibilities for study, just like you had when you were meeting all together in the same space. Some ideas:

Same study

Continue with the study you were already doing. Pick things up where you left off.

New study

Pick a new study one that may require a little more homework before you get together. Maybe now is the time to do the study that you couldn’t because no one could spend time reading before the meeting. So many Encyclicals… so little time.

FORMED

How about picking a study from Augustine Institute's FORMED? There are hundreds of video and other media you can stream on-demand. Here are two ways to make that happen:

  1. You could all watch a video before the meeting, and do the accompanying questions during the meeting.
  2. Or you could all watch the video from one person's living room, as they play it and transmit the video to everyone through the group video chat platform you chose. That way you can stop and start the video like you do when you are all together.

The Wild Goose

My group loves The Wild Goose. Fr. Dave Pivonka - the president of Franciscan University at Steubenville - is amazing, and he just started up a new series called Metanoia. It’s free to sign up. You can watch all 7 episodes, with more coming out each week.

Weekly share questions

Don’t forget that during your sharing portion of the meeting we have a link to give you a new share question each week. Just go to the Share Question of the Week page of our website. You can access it from any device, mobile or desktop.

Conclusion

With so many of us self-quarantined over these next few weeks, let’s get together with our Light of the World small groups. Let's encourage each other and witness to Christ like never before. These are tough times, but this is when we are truly able to give God glory by our Christian witness to Him.

"I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching. For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths. But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances; put up with hardship; perform the work of an evangelist; fulfill your ministry."
2 Timothy 4: 1-5

A few weeks ago we were wondering what sacrifice we were going to make for Lent. I never would have been able to give up all my social interactions, but here we are. May God bless our Lent and make it fruitful.

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