We meet on Thursday nights from 7 PM to 9 PM at the Coram Deo Building, located at 409 West 45th Street, 1st floor.
We rotate through three different formats for our gatherings each week. They are as follows:
1. Group Lectio Divina. Lectio Divina is a Latin word for "Divine Reading" and it is a Benedictine practice of Scripture reading, meditation and prayer. The Bible is a complex document. Some read it as history, others as philosophy, and others as a guide to navigate life. We embrace all three approaches, but Lectio Divina is distinct in that it treats the Bible as the Living Word. We do this formational practice together in a circle with one person facilitating and everyone else participating. We believe that as we collectively come under the authority of Scripture, we are formed into the image of Jesus.
After an hour or so of Lectio Divina, we proceed to corporate worship in song and lead into ministry time. Ministry time is a space where we collectively seek the will and voice of God, and act on it accordingly. We fully embrace the Vineyard value that "everyone gets to play," which means that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is not set apart for the few, but it is accessible to anyone who follows the way of Jesus. Ministry time may take the form of a prophetic word for an individual (or the community), prayer for someone in need of healing (physical or emotional), impartation of gifts, or some other response to what the Lord has initiated.
2. Teaching/Practicum. We have several gifted teachers in our midst and our teachings are typically followed by some form of group activation or reflection. If someone were to teach on the spiritual gifts, that would be followed by "clinic time" or a demonstration that allows people to see the teaching in action. Similarly, a teaching on biblical generosity might be followed by a set of questions or an exercise that allows the room to wrestle with the substance of what was communicated. The teachings last typically about an hour, and we conclude with worship and ministry time similar to what is described above.
3. Workshop Groups. On the third week, we break up into groups of 7-10 people to discuss and ask questions based on what was presented in the prior week's Lectio Divina and Teaching. These groups are safe environments to ask honest questions, share curiosities and even resistances. After a time of discussion, the second half is spent practicing together as we seek to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit as we minister to one another. Workshop Groups are an excellent way to be activated in the gifts of the Spirit and to practice in a way that balances the Word and Spirit. Thus if there was a teaching on the gift of prophecy, we would spend time receiving prophetic words for one another and debriefing on the experience afterward. Or perhaps if we are in a series on spiritual formation, we might spend time reflecting on and designing a rule of life together.
We maintain a sense of continuity across the three types of gatherings - so what we receive from Lectio Divina is related to the Teaching, which is in turn connected with the Workshop Group. Our goal is to be intentional in fighting the drift of consumerism by creating a space for people to engage and take spiritual risk so that we are equipped "to do the stuff" that Jesus did.