Nouwen readers are getting together! Interesting, thoughtful and inspiring conversations are taking place in people’s living rooms, church halls, school auditoriums, libraries and lunch rooms. Being part of a reading group offers opportunities for community, hospitality, reflection and spiritual nourishment.
It needn’t be a long-term commitment – two hours once a week for 4, 5 or 6 weeks might be the lifespan of your group – or it might blossom into an on-going weekly get-together.
Once you’ve gathered a few friends together, agreed on the book you’re all going to read, and decided where and when you’re going to meet, you’re well on your way. If you wish to expand your group you might consider invitations via bulletin board and newsletter notices, announcements at the end of church services or other gatherings you attend or by asking us to post a notice by contacting us. We have discussion guides for many of Nouwen’s books that can be downloaded from the resource section or ordered through our contact form.
Your first meeting
You might like to start by lighting a candle, saying a prayer and inviting each person to introduce themselves, sharing briefly how they first encountered Henri Nouwen’s writing.
Journey of the Heart, a sixty minute film by Windborne Productions, is a good introduction to Nouwen’s life. You may wish to show some or all of this film during your first meeting.
As the group leader, you can invite others to share in leadership tasks such as leading the prayer, reading particular passages from the book or questions from the reflection guide, initiating discussion for particular chapters, organizing refreshments. However, don’t worry about organizing too much. It should be a relaxed and nourishing time for everyone, including the group leader!