Each year at our global or regional gathering, there will be an opportunity to begin a year of preparation leading up to taking vows at gathering the year following. In order to begin your year of preparation, you need to have contacted the OMS team and been approved by them to do so.
Essential: Core readign & Biblical reflections
Recommended: Learning community & Wider reading
Essential: Practical exercises & Sponsor Conversation
Essentials: Sponsor conversation
Recommended: Review exercises, Journaling & Personal customary
Contemplation & Prayer
Essentials: Daily prayer rhythm
Recommended: Community Prayer
Companioning & Cymbrogi
Recommended: Spiritual companion
Pilgrimage & Mission
Essentials: Mission & Pilgrimage
Recommended: 24-7 mission team, 24-7 community pilgrimage
For those candidates who aren’t planning on journeying through time of preparation with a group of friends locally, we’re planning on offering optional online cohorts which will meet, probably monthly, with a facilitator who is already a member of the Order. These meetings would likely include prayer, a reflection of your practices over the last month, and biblical reflection or book discussion. Candidates are also recommended to find a companion or spiritual director to meet with for the duration of their preparation to support them through the process and to help discern your readiness to take vows with the Order.
A member of the OMS team will be touch with candidates to discuss what would be most appropriate to you and your context at the start of the time of preparation. We also want to ensure that the balance of the suggested elements of the time of preparation fit well with what is going on in your local context and adds to it, rather than becoming a burden to the activities of your local community. Members of the Order seek to bless the local church.
Pilgrimage and mission are also at the heart of what we’re encouraging with the order, and we’re asking that candidates go on a 24-7 Prayer mission team, participate in mission locally, or go on pilgrimage to a 24-7 Prayer community or another location, and then debrief their learning from said pilgrimage/mission.
Near the end of the preparation season, your OMS sponsor will discuss with you how your time of preparation has gone, and how you are feeling about your readiness to take vows. As Pete Greig, the author of Vision and the Vow has said, we’re very conscious that “you won’t be more holy if you do, less holy if you don’t!” If we are choosing to take a vow though, we want to make sure that we count the cost carefully, and prepare ourselves diligently. If at that time we discern together that you are ready to take vows, you will be able to do so at the 24-7 Gathering that fall.