Companions on the Way
We all have our own unfolding story of how we are learning to know God.
One way for our faith to flourish is to meet with other people, to explore and travel and pray together. Reading the gospels, we are struck by how much time Jesus spent with a small group of people - just walking and talking in the places where they lived and worked and belonged. This motley crew were loved, challenged and shaped by the relationship they had with Jesus. We are shaped and helped to grow in our faith through our relationships and friendships: faith is caught as well as taught.
Perhaps most of us would value the chance to be honest about the challenges of living our faith day to day. Paula D’Arcy says ‘God comes to you disguised as your life’, and when we share our lives with trusted friends we may learn to recognise God’s presence.There are different ways to travel together:
Spiritual Accompaniment: One to one
This is an ancient ministry, also known as spiritual counsel, prayer guidance, soul friendship or spiritual direction. Such spiritual companionship is for for anyone who wishes to reflect on their journey of faith. It can be a way to
- make time and space to explore our life of faith and how it shapes and is shaped by our day to day lives
- grow in prayer and reflective living
- find clarity and support at times of significant transition and life choices
- respond more deeply to God's presence and move forward towards wholeness and freedom
- explore vocation and an outworking of our relationship with God as we offer our service in the world.
People from a variety of church backgrounds can find this helpful even if this hasn't been part of their faith tradition. For those with no formal church connection can this can be a useful 'holding place' as we work out our relationship with the church or where we belong within the community of faith.
Another way to travel together is form a small ‘journey group’ meeting with two, three or more others, perhaps once a month, to share in confidence what life and faith mean in our own circumstances. Listening to one another without judgement, we can say what we think and feel about the questions we are living with. Sharing the joys and challenges together, responding to one another with creative questions, brings clarity and renewed faith.
Vessel can offer Spiritual Accompaniment for individuals through those working with the Trust, either by meeting with them themselves or by connecting them with the network of spiritual directors and 'Wayguides' working in Cornwall and beyond.
Any who offer this companionship have training and experience in this ministry and can explain the practicalities of how they work with individuals when they meet.
If you would like to find out more about meeting with a spiritual companion or how to form a small journey group, or simply to find out a bit more, please do get in touch via the Contacts page here