Connecting Faith and Life:Theological Reflection The Effective DRE A Skills Development Series
Theological Reflection Part 1 • What and Why • Model • Method
What and Why • Natural Activity • Transformation
SmallGroupDiscussion • Think back to your growing up years. What did it mean “to be holy”? Who was or could be “holy”? How did you know if you were “holy” or “good”? What does holiness “look like” for you at this point in your life? What created the changes?
Did anyone try the exercise from page 6 of the text? • What was your experience?
TheModel • Experience • Tradition • Culture
Experience • Simple • Complex • Whole person
Tradition • Scripture • History • Teachings of the Church
Culture • Environment (society) • symbols, values, mores, philosophies • comfort vs. discomfort
Small Group • Experience - Recall an event that has some meaning for you. Tell it is as much detail as you can. • Tradition – What Scripture story or religious teaching would shed light on that experience? • Culture – What would today’s society say about the experience? • Intersection – Putting the 3 in dialogue, where do they intersect?
The Method • Attending • Asserting • Decision making
Attending • Be alert to mind and heart • Be open to experience of others • Listen deeply • Be open to transformation
Critical attending requires that we be open to receive new information and insights that challenge the way we see things, our worldview. • A change in our worldview clarifies or changes our actions.
Asserting • Engage info from the 3 poles to expand and deepen religious insight • Search for a deeper truth • Claim a truth • Let go of “old truth” • Be open to interpretation
Theological reflection asks us to be willing to suspend, for a while, what we hold to be certain. Give up the need to be right. • Explore the truth and wisdom of each pole • Sustain different and possibly conflicting testimonies, and realize this is a valuable and necessary part of theological reflection.
Decision Making • The goal of theological reflection • Choose to respond • Find insight to move faith into action
Discussion • Recall an attitude, a belief, or a way of thinking that has changed for you. • How did this change come about? • What influenced this change? • How has this change made you different?
Let’s Use ItTheological Reflection Part 2 • Form two groups • Choose a facilitator • Do a group reflection based on the “For Reflection” exercise found on pages 33 and 34.
Positive Sharing • Recall an experience of positive faith sharing • What made it so? • Recall an experience of negative sharing • What made it so?
Skills “So what I hear you saying is…” • “I” messages • Use silence • Keep focused • Avoid generalizations • Keep the discussion open • Summarize (clarify)
Listening Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry – James 1:19
Do’s • Concentrate on listening • Let speakers own their statements • Affirm – restate if necessary • Invite completion • Allow silence • Stick with “I” statements
Do Not’s • Jump in with your experience • Try to problem solve • Make everything better • Explain away feelings • Add your interpretation • Pry • Forget silence • Allow generalizations
Sharing Guidelines • Create them • Use dialogue (see chart) • Frame questions • Prepare for challenges • Be informed
Discussion • In what areas of theological understanding are you strong? • How do you grow in theological understanding?
Reflection Paper2-3 typed pages • Answer: What have I learned about theological reflection? What does it mean for me? How will I use it personally and in groups? Give specific examples.