A. Formation Training Program for Presenters of Lectio Divina
The present design of the formation training for Lectio Divina presenters is to give the future presenters an experience of an introductory workshop. This is followed by a two-hour session clarifying the contents of the presenter’s handbook, giving the participants an opportunity to facilitate a group prayer experience, and answering any questions that might arise. This formation is “piggy backing” on the formation for presenters of Centering Prayer so it can be understood as an additional module of the basic training of presenters.
If the training program is conducted in a chapter setting, it is recommended that the coordinator assist the presenters-in-training by offering a one-day opportunity for the presenters-in-training to practice with each other, giving the introductory workshop. This will give the presenters-in-training an opportunity to give at least one of the talks and respond to the questions of the other presenters-in-training.
B. Criteria for Qualified Presenters
In order to become a qualified presenter of Lectio Divina under the auspices of Contemplative Outreach a person must meet the following criteria:
- Is committed to a daily practice of Centering Prayer.
- Is committed to a regular practice of Lectio Divina.
- Is a commissioned presenter of Centering Prayer
- Attended a Lectio Divina Introductory Workshop and presenter’s formation at the end of the workshop.
- Attends foundational workshops and retreats offered by Contemplative Outreach.
- Accepts the Contemplative Outreach Vision Statement and Theological Principles.
- Where applicable, is recommended by the local coordinator or by one of the resource personnel.
- Becomes familiar with the bibliography on Lectio Divina reading some of the books and viewing some of the videos.
- During this time of training the presenter needs to have a mentor (either a commissioned presenter of Lectio Divina or someone from the approved mentor list.
C. Process of Commissioning Presenters of Lectio Divina
After fulfilling the aforementioned criteria, a person may become a commissioned presenter of Lectio Divina by completing the following process:
- A Candidate for Presenter-in-training attends a Lectio Divina Formation Workshop and Training following the recommendation of their Chapter coordinator (if applicable). The Formation staff of the Lectio Divina training program gives each qualified Candidate a copy of the Commitment Sheet and the Commissioning Approval Form and reviews the commissioning requirements with them. The Presenter-in-Training is responsible for his/her Commissioning Approval Form document throughout the training period.
- The Candidate selects a mentor, either a commissioned presenter of Lectio Divina or a resource person from the list in the Resource Manual, to mentor them as they give workshops. The Candidate completes and signs the Commitment Sheet accepting commissioning as a Presenter-In-Training for the Lectio Divina Introductory Workshop and gives this to the Formation staff.
- Formation staff sends the list of qualified candidates who have accepted commissioning as a Presenter-In-Training to the Contemplative Outreach Resource Center (CORC), together with their Commitment Sheets. Candidates are coded on CORC database as Presenters-in-Training for Lectio Divina Introductory Workshop. CORC notifies the candidate’s mentor and coordinator of the candidate’s commissioning as a Presenter-in-Training and that the candidate will contact them soon.
- Candidates contact their mentor and inform their coordinator that they are a Presenter-in-Training for the Lectio Divina Introductory Workshop.
- Ideally, the mentoring is done by observing the Presenter-in-Training give at least one workshop on Lectio Divina. If this is not possible, due to distance or other factors, other ways may be substituted such as: audio or video recording of the presentation for mentor evaluation or the mentor may appoint the local coordinator or a commissioned presenter to observe the presentation.
- The Mentor observes the Presenter-in-Training giving the workshop. They review the evaluations and the Presenter-in-Training writes a one-page reflection note on their personal experience and what they’ve learned in giving the workshop. This is shared with their Mentor in the month following the workshop.
- If it is not possible for the Mentor to be present to observe the Presenter-in-Training’s presentation, the Presenter-in-Training can send the evaluations and their reflection note to their Mentor. The Mentor responds by critiquing the evaluations and reflection note of the Presenter-in-Training and sending the Presenter-in-Training their response.
- Presenters-in-Training are to have at least two experiences of presenting or co-presenting a workshop. During these two workshops the Presenter-in-Training needs to present each of the four conferences at least once.
- When the Presenter-in-Training feels ready to be commissioned and has presented at least two workshops, he/she indicates the workshops given on the Approval Form, has it signed by his/her Mentor recommending full commissioning, then sends it to the CORC.
- The CORC sends an appointment letter to the Presenter-in-Training indicating full commissioning as a Presenter of Lectio Divina Introductory Workshops. The person is coded on the database as a Lectio Divina commissioned presenter. Individual files are kept at the CORC for each person who has been commissioned. A copy of the appointment letter is sent to the Presenter’s Coordinator.
- The Coordinator of the newly commissioned presenter of Lectio Divina is encouraged to help the new Presenter schedule Lectio Divina workshops in their area.
- A Presenter-in-Training need not wait to practice skills until a Lectio Divina workshop is hosted. They may:
- Present to small prayer groups as a refresher
- Present at a Day or ½ Day of Prayer
- Present to a group of presenters or facilitators
- Present at a leadership gathering as a spiritual enrichment opportunity.
D. Sharing Lectio Divina with Others Without Commissioning
Although the above criteria and commissioning procedure is required of those who want to represent Contemplative Outreach, Ltd in presenting Lectio Divina, there is no restriction on your presentation of Lectio Divina without associating it with Contemplative Outreach, Ltd. If your desire is to make Lectio Divina available to fellow parishioners, as many churches have been encouraging, then there are plenty of materials available for a parish to have a successful program without the Contemplative Outreach, Ltd name being attached. For example, Stephen Binz has written books on Lectio Divina that can be used with small groups. Since one does not need to be a practitioner of Centering Prayer in order to practice Lectio Divina, you can work with your parish to have a seasonal Lectio Divina program using one of Mr. Binz’s books or any other resources you find helpful.