1. Opening song/songs. Any song whether on tape, CD or, better yet, live accompaniment. It's not important that people know the words, but it helps if the song is simple, repetitive so that people can "fake it" easily. Pass out rhythm instruments. (10")
2. Opening prayer. Informal prayer or read off a sheet. Many people with handicaps have made simple short prayers from the heart which invokes the Holy Spirit. I think that's the thing, that we get in touch with the Holy Spirit.
3. Good News Sharing. Go around "the circle" of members present and have each member share something good that happened since last meeting. Some people may need some coaxing, but it is such an essential part of the meeting. It gives everyone in the community a chance to "hear" the other members. It is what each of us brings to the meetings. What has God been doing in our lives? Since the Inspiration of Faith and Light is the meeting of the members heart to heart, this sharing is just as important as a reading of the Gospel, for Jesus is in our hearts. (10-20")
4. Theme for the Meeting. This is usually taken from the current guidelines. There are many excellent suggestions in the guideline book, but don't hesitate to adapt them for your group.
It has been said that "the Mime" or the acting out of a Scripture Passage, is a uniquely rich Faith and Light tradition. Having our "core members" (those with a mental handicap) be the actors, places them at the center of the meeting and keeps things lighthearted even while strongly conveying the Gospel Message.
Other activities often suggested are craft oriented, or communal prayer activities. Props and gimmicks and symbols can be profitably used. (20")
5. Intercessory Prayer. This has always been a powerful time in our meetings. So many core members have made wonderful intercessions, often deeply touching others at the meeting. The intercessions could come to a close with a communal praying of the Our Father. (10")
6. Closing songs. This can be optional, but is often a lot of fun to do while refreshments are being set up. (5-10")
7. The Social Snack time. This time allows for personal friendship building; it is a chance to share on a one-to-one basis. (20")
The Fourth time is the time between meetings during which members of the community share with each other. It could be phone calls, lunches, a trip out, a visit.
Kinds of Activities in addition or in place of the monthly meeting: 1. Local pilgrimages to special places
2. Stations of the Cross during Lent at a local Church
3. Home Masses (any month, but we do ours the week before Christmas)
5. Visits to Nursing Homes to sing Christmas Carols.
6. Annual Faith and Light Retreats
7. A few days camping as a community in warm weather.