“Well, I can’t miss Monday morning prayer group,” my mom replied.
It was a tradition us kids were used to, expecting our summer Monday mornings spent in the basement of the prayer group leader’s house. When we snuck upstairs for snacks, we’d see the Rosaries and the prayer intention baskets on the kitchen table.
“You have to have a group like this when you grow up,” she’d tell us. “Prayerful women will be your lifeline.”
Starting a Blessed is She Small Group
Enter my season of stay-at-home motherhood, where desiring that community led me to Blessed is She. I posted on my local BIS Facebook page that locals were welcome to gather Monday night at 8 p.m. I bought a box of cookies, a bottle of wine, and asked my husband to rush the kids to bed.
Three years, seven Blessed Conversation Studies, and many women later—my mom was right—these women became my lifeline.
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Tips for Maintaining a Thriving BIS Small Group
Here are some ideas for fostering your small group community.
Use social media as a tool.
I created a private Facebook page where group members post private intentions, spiritual readings, plan meal trains, and communicate meeting times.
Sit in a circle.
I set up my living room chairs and couches facing each other to foster the community vibe.
My group knows I’ll usually be propping my iPhone on the fireplace at the end of each meeting. I usually send them in a group text or post on our Facebook page. The pictures foster the visible sign of memories we can look back on when our crazy weeks take over. I always include, “We prayed for everyone not there!”
Meet outside of study.
One year a group member suggested a “Holy Half,” where we would meet in the adoration chapel for 30 minutes, and then head to the local McDonalds for sundaes and relaxed conversation! We’ve organized movie events, prayed at abortion clinics, and had birthday dinners out.
Add personal intentions.
At the end of our circular discussions, we ask each member to list something we can pray for. Confidentiality is expected so there’s a freedom for very personal requests, fostering vulnerability and deep friendship.
You Won’t Regret Trying
As you gather with other women for the Blessed Conversation studies, you’ll find the open ended discussion, reflections, teachings on our Catechism, the Saints and biblical wisdom will “deepen prayer life through supportive sisterhood.”
Use these tips as a guide and remember that each group and each woman is unique! Whether it’s an early weekend morning in a church hall, or late weeknight living room, the Holy Spirit will work with you to make it happen! There’s room for you sister, I promise you that!
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Alexandria DeRose is a trained Nurse Practitioner & Fertility Educator turned unexpected homeschooling mom of four sons. She’s passionate about cultivating community through her Blessed is She small group and encouraging women to choose joy in the everyday through her writing on joymamablog.com. Check out her #joymamamovement over on Instagram & join the fun!