Format for Video Group Spiritual Direction 

adapted from Rose Mary Dougherty

• We are aiming for a format that will take around an hour and a half.

• Our group includes four people.

• We will not begin with a check in.

• We will take turns facilitating, as agreed at the end of each meeting, with a commitment on the part of the facilitator to adhere to the guidelines outlined here.

• The facilitator may choose to begin and end the time with a very brief reading.

• It is helpful for all participants to have a timer or clock handy in order to keep responses to the appropriate time during the response periods.

• We will decide at the beginning of each session on an order in which we will share, or decide to allow the order to arise spontaneously.

• We will begin with 5 minutes of silence and end with 5 minutes of reflection on the time together, which leaves us with 80 minutes, minus silences in between speakers, which comes to 18 minutes per person.

• Each person will take a turn to share, followed by a brief silence, followed by brief responses, usually only one per person. The facilitator will ensure that this does not take more than 18 minutes per person. 

• The person who has just shared will not respond to each response, but will make a very brief response after the other three have had a chance to speak if there is time.

• If one person is absent, then we will pray for him or her for 5 minutes towards the end, and if it is known at the beginning of the group that one person will be absent, then the people who are present will each have an additional 4 minutes or 22 minutes total.

• The group will decide whether members may join the group late, as long as they are not disruptive.

• Beginning Silence (5 minutes)

Person One (18 minutes total)
• Sharing by Person One (about 8 - 10 minutes)
Person One shares. While individuals are sharing, the group listens prayerfully through to the end without interruption.

• Silence (about 1 minute)

• Response (about 7 - 9 minutes)
Facilitator informs group how much time is left for responses, subtracting the time Person One has shared for and the time of silence from 18 minutes.  Others give brief responses, usually only one per person.  

• Silence (about 2 minutes)
During this time people pray for the person who has just presented. The presenter may want to take some notes on what she has heard.

The "Sharing—Silence—Response—Silence" is repeated until all members have presented.

• Prayer for absent member (5 minutes)

• Reflection on the time together (about 5 minutes)

Outline for facilitator:

• Silence 5 minutes
• First speaker 18 minutes (8 - 10/1/7 - 9)
• Silence 2 minutes
• Second speaker 18 minutes (8 - 10/1/7 - 9)
• Silence 2 minutes
• Third speaker 18 minutes (8 - 10/1/7 - 9)
• Silence 2 minutes
• Fourth speaker 18 minutes (8 - 10/1/7 - 9)
• Silence 2 minutes
• Reflection on time together 5 minutes

More about the Shalem method of Group Spiritual Direction developed by Rose Mary Dougherty.