Pick those that spark a strong response in you…
The GATE: ENTRY POINTS
- What pulled you into the story; conflict, collaboration or something else?
- Which character made you care? What about her sparked your interest?
- Which themes kept your attention? Say more…
- Have you ever served on a pastoral search committee? Any regrets?
- Have you ever made a life-changing decision, only to wind up doubting your own wisdom? Describe a bit about this…
The TUNNELS: UNDERNEATH
- Have you ever been groped? More than once? What happened?
- Have you ever confronted a sexual predator? When? Where? How?
- Have you ever worked with strong women to get rid of a predator, or bring about needed change in your school, church or neighborhood?
- Have you ever felt oppressed? When? Where? How?
- Have you ever led a guided tour with someone of a different class, age or place so she could come to appreciate your original neighborhood?
The SHORES: LAND’S END
- Do you usually say YES or NO when asked to serve in a leadership role? Why or why not?
- When does the fear of looking bad or sounding stupid keep you from speaking up?
- How might you rebalance a situation of power-over with someone in a position of authority? What might a power-with situation look like?
- Do you like the feeling of blood rushing to your head, making everything heightened and fast and wild? Why or why not?
- What role has the public library played in your intellectual development?
The HILLS: STEEP CLIMBS
- Tell about a time you challenged authority or witnessed others doing so.
- Tell about someone you consider a saint? Describe why…
- Tell about your experience with spiritual-practice circles.
- Tell about someone you know personally who speaks truth with love.
- Tell about something that triggers your animosity, maybe aggression.
The PRESIDIO: TRAIPSING
- For you, is Holy Communion a revered sacrament, an occasional liturgical experience, a paradox, a sacred mystery or something else?
- For you, is heresy a holy truth, an outmoded concept, a way to separate insiders from outsiders, or something else?
- For you, is aggression your first response, a rare but useful form of expression, avoided most of the time, abhorrent or something else?
- For you, which person or situation irritates you like a thorn in the flesh? We aren’t sure what Paul meant by the metaphor; what’s true for you?
- For you, what emotions rise when you read of a modern woman giving herself a penance or setting out to become a connoisseur of pain?
The BRIDGES: CONNECTING
- What did you hunger for when you were a teen? And these days?
- What did you do to ground yourself when you were young? Now?
- What happens when people share food? How does eating together nourish emotional connections and deepen relationships between folks?
- What might happen if more transgender folks had a place at the table?
- What connection do you see between the Beacons’ total acceptance of her and Paige’s capacity to be merciful toward Rev Ruth?
The TENDERLOIN: LURES
- Have you had personal experience with someone who was lured into the sex trade? Tell what you heard, felt, wanted, said or did…
- Describe any links and/or tensions you might have experienced between your own emerging sexuality and your developing spirituality.
- What delights you about San Francisco’s Night Ministry? Discomforts you?
- How does your own faith community respond to the needs of those who are trapped in prostitution? Poverty? Madness?
- Does your town have a Safe House? Do you see the need for one?
The VALLEYS: SHADOWS
- How is your view of Holy Communion affected when you envision it as Rev Ruth and the Beacons do, as a sacrament of feeding?
- Have you ever had a crush on someone? Were you aware of God’s Presence with you during the crush, after it was over, now, or never?
- Have you ever had cancer? Describe your awareness of God during your illness. Did your connection with Sacred Presence change after cancer?
- Have you noticed the little phrase AS IT IS midway through The Lord’s Prayer? What might it mean to you now? In the future?
- Have you ever offered your traumatic memories to Creation for healing? What happened?
The AVENUES: PASSAGES
- Have you ever feared you were losing your mind? Say more…
- Nobody likes everyone. Is there one neighbor, one person at church or at work toward whom you feel a puzzling sense of aversion?
- When have the blues swept over you, and how did you get through it?
- Imagine yourself yourself sitting in the tableau, silently embodying one of the Twelve Madonnas. What are you wearing? Feeling? Wanting?
- Have you ever organized a rummage sale or shopped at one? How do you feel about hearing You can’t put a price tag on love, but you can charge a fair price for the accessories?
The MISSION: ANIMATION
- Have you ever been blessed by a great kindness, a kind of sunlight?
- Ever had an intensely lucid moment, a sudden solution to a dilemma? Some call this ‘women’s intuition.’ How do you name it?
- Have you ever observed someone near and dear, wavering on the edge of cognitive diminishment? Tell about it…
- Have you ever repeated the name of Jesus to connect with the mysterious power of love embodied in this frail scrap of language?
- Have you ever sensed the gravitational pull of love while listening to someone’s truth?
The PIERS: SUPPORTS
- Imagine yourself at the bedside of a loved one, someone who has not yet decided whether to stay alive. What do you say? Do? Want?
- Imagine yourself cleaning house in a flurry of righteous indignation. What do you think? Feel? Want?
- How does angry aggression, when expressed to a trusted person in a safe setting, restore vitality for females?
- How does voluntary withdrawal from everyday responsibilities help women gain perspective and renew inner strength? Can the same benefits come through involuntary withdrawal?
- If power is the capacity to move and be moved in relationship, how does Rev Ruth’s illness change power dynamics among the Beacons?
The BEACH: CURRENTS
- When have you had to put pieces of a challenging situation together without knowing the whole picture?
- Do you believe it’s possible to have a soul connection with someone who has died? Have you ever received a bit of ancestral guidance?
- What do you see, hear and feel when you witness flights of expressive imagination in others? How does expressive imagination happen for you?
- Have you ever gone through a dark night of the soul, a cloudy evening of the soul, or a spiritual rummage sale?
- How is being socially isolated similar to, or different from, choosing to live in a contemplative way? Does seeking to be rooted and grounded in Love have anything to do with it?