Speak, Lord, your servant is listening
A new series of Samuel Groups will begin in London in November 2014. These discernment groups are for young adults (18-30s) who are open to listening to the Word of God and putting it into practice in their lives. Groups meet in Central, North, East, South-East and West London, and will last from Advent to Pentecost.
Samuel Groups take their name from the story of the prophet Samuel in chapter 3 of the First Book of Samuel. While still a young boy and serving in the temple, Samuel hears a voice call him by name and thinks that it is the voice of the priest Eli. But when the voice continues to call him he realises, with Eli’s help, that this is the voice of God. Eli tells him that when he next hears the voice he should answer, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” And this is how the story of Samuel’s vocation begins...
What is the aim of Samuel Groups?
The main aim is simply that participants will end the programme with a clearer view of God’s will for their lives. The groups help participants to discern their direction on life, whether this is to marriage or dedicated single life, to priesthood or consecrated life. Samuel groups are also a great help for those facing major life decisions at this time.
What commitment is involved?
Participants commit to attend regular monthly meetings with the group, and to meeting with a spiritual guide. These are experienced people of prayer and spiritual accompaniment who, like the priest Eli in Samuel’s story, can help the participants to listen more attentively to God’s voice in their life. The monthly meeting is an opportunity to speak in total confidentiality about their prayer life and spiritual journey and for many is one of the most helpful parts of the Samuel programme.
What happens in the monthly meetings?
The heart of the group meetings is a time of Lectio Divina – an ancient form of slow, meditative prayer with the Bible. There is also often a guest speaker and time for discussion as well as social time. The precise details will vary from group to group but praying the Word of God will always be at the heart of any Samuel Group
Here is some feedback from two recent Samuel Group members:
Marc “I found the Samuel Group process to be really helpful as it helped me to develop a better prayer regime, helped me to understand more about vocations and discernment and how best to tackle these questions in my life.”
Harriet “For me the spiritual director was probably the most helpful part of the experience because you have one-on-one time with somebody, and you’re really working on what God is calling you to do and answering your personal questions.”
In this Year of Faith, if you think that committing yourself to this life-changing journey with a Samuel Group could help you in your faith journey at this time, you need to act quickly as the groups begin in early Advent. For more information or to request an application form visit www.ukvocation.org/Samuel, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 7901 4809.