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CYCLE ONE
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eGroup-SpiritualDirection

ACTION RESEARCH

At the last parish where I served for six years, many parishioners were well educated, both academically and in their faith; however, some adults still complained that they were confused about their own personal faith journey. They wondered where they could get some guidance. These were caring people, but they considered themselves very busy with family and work as well as Church and social activities. They did, however, have sufficient financial stability to access the cyber world and most of them were competent in technological devices. I have had training in spiritual direction, and I am aware that it can potentially bring people closer to God. As a teacher and presenter, I have also had experience in group dynamics, and I realize that group interaction can enhance and inspire collaboration within a community, so I developed a plan where we could share our faith journeys online and be helpful to each other. This parish group seemed to be one that might benefit by eGroup-SpiritualDirection. Through eGroup-SpiritualDirection, I can invite interested persons to become directees and accept greater personal responsibility for the spiritual aspect of being human.  EGroup-SpiritualDirection can offer a safe environment to explore prayer practices, meditation, spiritual experiences, and a groups’ growing desire to draw closer to God as God’s beloved sons and daughters. This parish group’s reaching out for spiritual growth and guidance was the inspiration for my developing eGroup-SpiritualDirection.   


My plan for eGroup-SpiritualDirection is designed as a mixed program model, with 60% percent interaction done online and 40% of the communication taking place at face-to-face group meetings.  Using the model of the Pepperdine Learning Technologies Cadre Camp and online learning process, I designed a program combining my knowledge and experience of spiritual direction with my new knowledge of online communication using forums and blogs.  Similar to the structure of the learning circles used in the Pepperdine program, I decided to invite five people to begin our eGroup-SpiritualDirection. Each of these persons would be asked to attend a workshop/ retreat camp to begin the program.  Through the retreat experience, each directee could better understand the purpose and format of the eGroup-SpiritualDirection as well as become acquainted with the other directees. They could, then, decide if they really wanted to accompany each other for this spiritual journey for a year. Each of those who decided to continue the spiritual journey together would create his/her own symbol before adjourning to home and work places. The directees would commit to making their online entries at least two times a week and to meeting three to four times a year according to the desire of the group.                                       


        My plan for a blended eGroup-SpiritualDirection combining face-to-face group meetings with online blogging to form small group spiritual companionship, will not only meet spiritual needs, but it will also be a way to respect the form of learning that is common and comfortable for the new generation of digital natives and immigrants.



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