Congregational Reading

21/05/2020 Day 142

Phil 1:27-2

This is our current congregational reading / Dwelling in the Word

How to dwell in the Word

Dwelling in the Word is a process that many people in the Diocese of Oxford are using to listen to scripture, to each other and to God. It’s not about sharing information or seeking scholarly answers or even the right answers to the issues raised in the text, but it is about listening each other into free speech and discerning what God is up to amongst us.

Have copies of this sheet available at every meeting so that the verses overleaf can be read by different people each time you meet. You should set aside, without apology, at least 20 minutes for this activity. Dwelling in the Word is far from magical or formulaic; it won’t solve all the problems or answer all the questions, difficulties and issues your group, council or committee has to address. However, over time, this discipline forms a community of the Holy Spirit, where the Spirit is as welcome and expected a presence as anyone else there.

  • Start with prayer inviting the Spirit to guide your attending to the Word of God.
  • When everyone is ready, begin with one person reading the passage out loud to the group.
  • Now let some silence unfold as people let the words have their impact. Notice where your attention lingers. This might be a word or a phrase.
  • Ask a second person to read the passage out loud once more.
  • Each person in the group finds someone they know less well and listens to that person as s/he says what they heard in the passage. What captured their imagination in the passage and what would they like to find out more about? Each person should listen well as they will be asked to report back to the rest of the group (or another pairing if you’re a large group) what their partner said.
  • What have you heard that might be significant? Discuss as a group what God might be up to in the passage for your group on that day. It can be helpful for the facilitator to make a brief note of what she or he hears from the group and to capture that in a short prayer at the end.
  • Finally, let people know that as your conversation on other matters continues, anyone at any time may call for the Gospel and the group will return to the passage.

Dwelling in the Word is not the only way to study scripture, but if you’d like to find out more then Dwelling in the Word – A Pocket Handbook is available to purchase from

Dwelling in the Word. So that the Word begins to dwell in you.

To discuss contact your ministry team who will be happy to discuss this passage with you. (Contact)

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