Weekly Meeting Format

Just like the two retreats in Stage One of the Hearts Afire Program, 33 Days to Morning Glory and Consoling the Heart of Jesus, the participants of Stage Two: Wisdom and Works of Mercy Group Study should meet weekly (or bi-weekly) for 90 minutes.

Wisdom (the ‘One Thing’ Is Three Group Study) is 10 sessions, and Works of Mercy (the ‘You Did It to Me’ Group Guide), is one session.

Let’s start with the weekly meeting format for Wisdom and the ‘One Thing’ Is Three Group Study:

The ‘One Thing’ Is Three Group Study • The You Did It to Me’ Group Guide

The Meeting Format —
The ‘One Thing’ Is Three Group Study

General Overview:
• About 90 minutes (1.5 hours) total time:

– 5-minute Large-group Opening for prayer and announcements
– 35-minute Large-group DVD Viewing (watching the lectures on DVD)
– 45-minute Small-group Sharing (draws from the weekly review questions in the Study Companion and the DVD lecture)
– 5-min Large-group Closing for prayer and announcements

Large-group — Opening (5 Minutes)
You’ll begin each session by coming together in a large group. Within that large group gathering, you’ll begin with a prayer, and the Coordinator will make any necessary announcements.

Large-group — DVD Viewing (35 Minutes)
Following the prayer and any necessary announcements, the Coordinator will play the DVD talk for the group to watch. In this Study Companion, we’ve provided a “DVD Notes” section for each session, so you’ll have a place to jot down your ideas or impressions during the talk.

Small-group — Sharing (45 Minutes)
Small groups (about 6-12 people, depending on your group and available space) meet for a 45-minute discussion time that follows the guidelines laid out in the Coordinator’s Guide. The small-group dynamic is an important aspect of the study, because it fosters a true spirit of fellowship and friendship in Christ. By friendship in Christ, the members of His Mystical Body are connected in holiness to Christ and to one another in prayer and so are able to more fruitfully receive his grace. (See Mt 18:20.) The friendships that you discover and nourish in your small group are important sources of support and encouragement on your journey to a deeper understanding of Christ and the teachings of his Church.

[Note to Small-group Leaders: Be sure to read the Small-group Session Outline at the end of each week in this Study Companion before each gathering. The Small-group Session Outline lists the questions for each week and outlines the small group format, which is summarized as follows:

A. PRAYER: This is the prayer from the Study Companion or another suitable prayer.
B. PERSONAL RESPONSE: These are the particular questions used for small-group sharing.
C. CLOSING PRAYER: The small-group will pray the closing prayer together.]

Large-group — Closing (5 Minutes)
You’ll end each session by coming back together in a large group. Together, you’ll conclude with a prayer and the Group Coordinator will make any necessary announcements.

The Meeting Format —
The ‘You Did It to Me’ Group Guide

Session 11 is the last session for Stage Two of the Hearts Afire Program, “Wisdom and Works of Mercy.” The structure for this meeting and the directions for the discussion are straightforward and simple: You’ll begin with a brief, large group meeting, break into your small groups for a two-part, hour-long discussion, and then you’ll go back to the large group meeting to vote and close with a prayer. The details now follow.

Large-group — Opening (5 Minutes)
Session 11 begins by coming together as a large group. Within the large group, the Program Coordinator will lead everyone in a short prayer and then make any necessary announcements.

Small-group — Discussion (60 Minutes)
Because there is no DVD talk for Session 11, the small-group discussion will last one hour. Your group will probably need the full hour because the session will have two substantial segments.

1. Discussion on ‘You Did It to Me’ (15-25 min)
Each person in the group should be given an opportunity to share his or her Action Plan.

2. Discussion about Your Small-group Work of Mercy (35-45 min)
For this part of the meeting, the Small-group leader will need a pen and paper.

[10 min BREAK]

Large-group — Program Vote & Closing (15 Minutes)
When the large group comes back together after the ten-minute break, the Coordinator announces the recommendations for the next program from the HAPP® Team and any other suggestions if appropriate. Then, the whole group can vote on the next program. The next program is announced or the decision is postponed until logistics are worked out by the Coordinator, and the meeting closes with a prayer.

[Note: Practically speaking, the final decision on which program is chosen would likely be based on whomever will take the responsibility to be the Coordinator of the next program. Of course, not everyone has to agree on the next program, and it’s possible to start two or more new programs, provided new Coordinators step up to lead those programs. That person could be you!]