Dwelling in the Word

During 2021, we will be reflecting together on Colossians 3. 12-17 in a variety of contexts across the diocese, using the spiritual practice known as Dwelling in the Word.

Parishes and people that have used Dwelling in the Word have found that it can help people to listen attentively. Over time people become adept at listening to God and each other through scripture.  Below is a short video from Portishead reflecting on their experience of using the practice; a bit more information about Dwelling in the Word; and a couple of leaflets to download if you want to use the passage locally.

Rob Eastwood Dewing and Simon Stevens from Portishead reflect on the experience of Dwelling in the Word in their benefice.

Dwelling has some elements that are like Lectio Divina but also some things that are distinctive and can have a powerful effect:

  •  Dwelling in the Word is done in groups rather than individually.
  • We remain with the same Bible passage for a year.  This can seem odd at first, but builds a rich relationship with each other and the particular passage.
  • Listening to each other and to God is built into the process.  First, we listen in pairs to what has struck the other person in the passage.  Then we share with others what we have heard them say, rather than our own insights.  This listening sounds easy but many people find it remarkably hard at first and it is a great way of practising listening really attentively to each other.
  • Each person reflects on where their attention is drawn in the passage.  In Dwelling in the Word we don’t defer to expertise, which has an important part to play in our life together but not in this particular practice.

If you would like to know more, or share your own reflections on Dwelling, then please get in touch with Julia Hill.  Dwelling in the Word is one of the spiritual practices that comes from Partnership for Missional Church.

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