Discernment groups listen to and test individuals' discernment, typically a month, giving each other feedback, and recording the individual discernment affirmed by the group as a whole in a book for record.
The art of discerning conscience defies definition, but requires some discipline and direction. It is the intent, not the literal words, that will guide you best. Below are a few examples of commitments; please write your own Statement of Commitment as a group in order to clarify your agreement and provide guidance to your collective practice.
We commit to:
- Allow conscience to guide and shape our lives, test our best discernment with others, give and receive feedback and explore applying our conscience and feedback in our daily lives.
- Experience conscience while acknowledging our human constraints and to let our best discernment shape and guide our lives.
- Be inwardly guided by our best sense of what is right and true and testing that with others in the group and recording our collective discernment.
Do not seek to "do it all" but rather to take up one thing at a time. Life is so interrelated that small things may have large ripple effects. Be patient to find the one thing in a moment that is working within you -- on your heart, your mind, your conscience. Or look around and take up something ordinary in daily life -- how to reduce waste, how to enrich relationships, how to love more, how an item you purchase and/or use reflects your best sense of what's right. Pick one and start there, either a persistent inward nudging or an ordinary daily act. Remember, truth does not come packaged to our size, it comes either too small, apparently petty, or too large, apparently overwhelming. Don't worry about about how it appears; trust it and action on it.
Each month have each individual test his or her discernment with the group. Record what the group affirms for an individual, using his or her name, in a book. After affirming individuals, ask if their insights or directions ring true for the group as well as the individuals, and if so record what the group affirms for the group as a whole.
If the group feels this may be true for other communities, please record it in the Journal on this website, signing at least two names (# in the group), city, state and country.