Spiritual Formation

The Sacred Journey

Wednesday evenings at 6:30pm – Monastery Retreat House Library

This popular group experience explores important questions about spirituality, religion, theology and the relevance of being a Christian in today’s modern world. This program draws from COS parishioners as well as those from the surrounding area. Beginning with this program year Rev. Bob Honeychurch and myself decided to experiment with holding these groups at the monastery in an effort to foster the relationship between COS and the Community of Divine Love monastery. This has proved to be fruitful and popular with those who attend The Sacred Journey programs regularly. Although much of the program offerings are Christo-centric, we welcome and value spiritual and theological views from our friends of other traditions. Below are program descriptions of what we have explored in 2018 and looking forward to 2019.

2018

Story Sharing Group

We began the program year with story sharing exercises designed to help us connect with one another through our personal stories. Led by Gabe Vasquez-Reyes and Brother Dennis.

Book Reading and Discussion Groups:

September/October
BRAVING THE WILDERNESS by Brene Brown

This amazing and timely book help us, as the title insinuates, gain courage to speak our truth in a safe and sacred environment without judgement or agenda. This particular book was extremely well received by those in the group and helped to nurture our collective need for speaking truth in vulnerability. This discussion was not always easy, but most all agreed it was needed and vital for true spiritual development and growth.

November/December
FLUNKING SAINTHOOD by Jana Riess

A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray, and Still Loving My Neighbor. This book was a bit of a lighter touch and Brene’s fun and informative look at spiritual practices helped to not only loosen our grip on expectations, but also was informative about practices such as Sabbath, Contemplative Prayer, Monastic Spiritualty as well as spiritual principles such as generosity, hospitality and gratitude, both in theory and practice.

2019

Book Reading and Discussion Groups:

January/February
CHRIST OF THE CELTS by J. Philip Newell

This important work guided our conversation around the idea that in these times of fragmentation and violence there is a deep longing within the human soul for peace. Using audio excerpts read by the author and targeted questions generated from the text, we considered our own fundamental nature as beloved by God as well as conversations on doctrinal issues such as Original Sin, Substitutionary Atonement and Salvation. This book exploration challenged us to have vital and respectful conversations on important issues of faith and spirituality, and we were able to do so in part because of the earlier work in Story Sharing and the previous discussion Braving the Wilderness.

Lenten Program

March/April
THE WORK OF THE PEOPLE

For seven weeks leading up to Holy Week, The Sacred Journey group will explore a new way to open conversation around topics appropriate for Lent. Each evening we will engage with short films from THE WORK OF THE PEOPLE followed by group discussion one what we have seen and heard. Each evening will be proceeded by a simple Lenten meal of soup and bread before programming begins.

May Book Discussion: TBA

Retreats

We are offering two seasonal Quiet Day Retreats per year. The Quiet Day Retreats are held at the Community of Divine Love Monastery Guest House & Library.

  • Advent Quiet Day Retreat – Saturday, December 15, 2018 – 9am-2pm

  • Lenten Quiet Day Retreat – Saturday, April 6, 2019 – 9am-2pm

  • 2019 Advent Quiet Day Retreat - TBA

Taize: A Contemplative Experience - First Fridays of each month – 7:30pm – Church
A serene candlelight service of prayer, reflections, silence, and music, this contemplative worship in the style of Taize has steadily grown in popularity. With Br. Dennis and Sr. Greta officiating and Phil Smith directing the music with a guest soloist each month, this service offers a deeply rich contemplative worship experience. All are welcome. 2019 dates: Jan 6, Feb 1, Mar1, Apr 5, May 3 (summer break) Sep 6, Oct 4, Nov 1, Dec 6

SKIRBALL CULTURAL CENTER
We will be offering a group field trip to the Skirball Cultural Center sometime in spring/summer of 2019.
Date to be announced.

INDIVIDUAL SPIRITUAL DIRECTION
Brother Dennis continues to offer individual spiritual direction. If you are interested in learning more about this essential part of the spiritual life in formation, feel free to call Br. Dennis direct at: 213-220-2278.

RECOVERY WORSHIP RETURNS
In response to numerous requests, we have decided to re-start Recovery Worship beginning in May of 2019. Recovery Worship will be once again offered on Tuesday evenings in Grace Chapel at 6:15pm. For more information, contact the church office.

Film & Faith
Dates to Be Announced

Films are a powerful medium and can offer us a window through which to explore important questions about society, culture, faith, and spirituality; both within our own modern culture as well as the broader world view.