Bear-the-Beams-of-LoveFIRST GATHERING
Welcome! This first conversation is based on the opening section of the binder - or this website. We feel it is important for our Newcomers to have some sense of the origins of this unique form of community. It is a prophetic-mystical community that embraces ALL who are yearning for a deeper union with God, all others, and creation. You will learn/see that it has just recently been 'discovered' as a pearl of great price - stored in the heritage of the Sisters of St. Joseph. We too are awakening to its new mystical meaning and possibilities for NEW forms of committed life for all Christians.
Sip together the cup of blessing! 



Words of Welcome

The flow of our gatherings will always be some time for informal conversation as everyone arrives and settles in. Then the HOME HOST/HOSTESS calls us to prayer by lighting the Christ candle and all present come forward to light their votive light around it. Someone leads us in a gathering song – or we listen to a meditative CD - followed by praying together the Little Design Communities Gathering Prayer. Someone is invited to proclaim a scripture and/or read a section of The Eucharistic Letter and/or a spiritual text. Then follows a period of silence (5-7 minutes) for pondering the Word in our hearts.
During Year 1 there will be some guided input on the Eucharistic Letter- the core vision document - and all can follow along with the binder commentary notes. (Or download the Eucharistic Letter pages with commentary at the website)
Then, we move into ‘sharing the state of the heart’ and listening to each other’s stories. After all have shared, and all have placed their coloured cards around the Christ light, we pause again to pray the closing prayer. We hold each other in the presence of the ‘beams of Divine Love.’
These times together – once a month - grow more precious as the community spirit grows and we bond deeply in trust and compassion. Every gathering ends with some tea and simple refreshments.
Introductions … getting to know YOU. We invite everyone gathered around the circle to tell us your name and ‘a little something about yourself’ and why you have come.
Opening Song     Fire of Love (or play a CD of your choice: e.g. Monica Brown, Taize etc.)
Gathering Prayer of the Little Design Communities
Holy One, evidence of your self-communication in love is all around, everywhere.
In the inner depths of my own heart, in the world, in all creatures around me,
you live and move and have your being. I am not separate from you,
and because of your wondrous love I am not separate from all creation.
Help me to live with eyes wide open to your self-communication.
Help me to be open to your lavish grace, to receive it without fear and
with the conviction that you want nothing more than for me to receive it.
In turn, may I be gracious to others, an instrument of your lavish grace to all I meet. Amen.      
                                                                                  -from Judy Cannato, Field of Compassion
Scripture:   A reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians 3:14-21
This, then, is what I pray, kneeling before the Father, from whom every family, whether spiritual or natural, takes its name: out of his infinite glory, may he give you the power through his Spirit for your hidden self to grow strong, so that Christ may live in your hearts through faith, and then, planted in love and built on love, you will with all the saints have strength to grasp the breadth and the length, the height and the depth; until, knowing the love of Christ which is beyond all knowledge, you will be filled with the utter fullness of God. Glory be to him whose power working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine; glory be to him from generation to generation in the Church and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. AMEN.
The Word of the Lord.      R. Thanks be to God.                           Pause for silent prayer (5-7 minutes)

Telling the Story of The Little Design … refer to the History and Vision section.

Everyone will read through either before the meeting or at the meeting the few pages on the evolving story of History and Vision of these Little Design communities.
Allow time for questions and comments ~ be in awe of the mystery unfolding here ~ be aware of resonance.
How does the Spirit speak within you today? Engage in conversation.


Introduce Sharing the State of the Heart – see notes and coloured cards in the binder.

      Spend as much time as is needed to have everyone share their story.
      Place your card around the Christ light with the SACRED WORD describing the state of your heart this month. Pray for each other. Imagine everyone being touched by the Light and Love of Christ.

Closing Prayer       

blkwhitemedailleaO God, who through your servant, Jean-Pierre Medaille, have deigned to call a great number of souls to the imitation of the Word Incarnate. In his great love for God and humanity, we beg of You, glorify Your name and glorify your servant, by granting us through his intercession the favors which we ask. We pray also that by his intercession the whole family of “the little design” may be continually renewed in his spirit and hasten with joy along the way which he has traced out for them towards this greatest love. Amen.

Before departing be sure to fill in the enclosed chart for the dates and times and locations for your next meetings. Exchange phone numbers and email addresses to stay connected.  
Refreshments – enjoy a cup of tea and the companionship of new friends.