“In the Beginning God Created...”
NOTE FOR PILOT SESSION: Each chapter contains a printable download if your group would prefer to use a hard copy. This document is designed to be printed double-sided and then folded like a booklet. If you prefer to use a mobile device, each chapter contains the exact same information that is found in the printable downloads.
NOTE FOR PILOT SESSION: Before your group meets for the first time, it is suggested that everyone read through the entire "Start a Group" section on this website, beginning with the Introduction to Patriarch in order for everyone to share a common understanding of the premise, goals and objectives of your Patriarch Men's Group. The average meeting typically lasts between 60-90 minutes, however, for your first meeting, it is suggested that your group allocates 2 hours to read through the notes in the pilot session together so that everyone is on the same page.
Step 1 - Opening Prayer
NOTE FOR PILOT SESSION: At the beginning of each meeting, the group facilitator should gather everyone and begin with a prayer. The facilitator is responsible for leading prayer, leading the Psalm and facilitating the discussion questions. The facilitator is not intended to be the person who answers every question. It is suggested that you rotate the facilitator each meeting so that each man gets comfortable leading others in prayer and discussion.
At your group's first meeting, it is suggested that you establish a time frame together to decide a concluding time for each meeting so that the group facilitator knows when to conclude the discussion.
Opening Prayer Led by Group Facilitator
Step 2 - Recitation and Reflection on Psalm: 5-10 minutes
NOTE FOR PILOT SESSION: Pray the Psalm found below together aloud, alternating verses between two sides. If anyone in your group has prayed the Liturgy of the Hours in a group setting, they will be familiar with this. One half of the group will recite only the odd verses; the other half will recite only the even verses. As you recite the Psalm, pay special attention to anything that stands out to you. When finished, please share any individual reflections on the Psalm as a group, noting how the Word of God in the Psalm just read intersects with your life today. The purpose for reciting the Psalm aloud and sharing individual reflections is for you to get comfortable exercising biblical prayer, biblical reading, applying the word, and personal reflection so that you will be comfortable doing this at home with your wives and with your children.
1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
(7) Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
(8) As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.
Step 3 - Discussion Questions: 35-45 minutes
NOTE FOR PILOT SESSION: Following the reflections on the Psalm, the group facilitator will transition to discussion on the current Biblical character that your group is reflecting on. For this pilot session, your group is discussing Genesis chapter 1 through chapter 2:3. Most sessions cover only one chapter, sometimes however, as is the case with this session, it will cover slightly more or slightly less than the entire chapter. You will notice also that the curriculum occasionally skips some chapters. This is because the focus of the curriculum is on the narratives of the Patriarchs. Chapters without narratives of the Patriarchs are omitted from the curriculum.
Your time together will be much more fruitful if everyone in your group has read the chapter and the discussion questions in advance. A link to the scripture passage is provided below. You are welcome, of course, to bring a Bible instead of using the link. The link provides an account from the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition.
First Story of Creation
Genesis 1 - 2:3 ← This text is hyperlinked to the RSV Catholic Edition
NOTE FOR PILOT SESSION: Questions are meant to provide a framework for discussion and to elicit your own personal reflections. While some questions have an objective answer, most questions are intended to be a starting point for you to reflect on fatherhood and husbandly leadership in scripture and apply it to your life, work and family.
1. How is the ordering of God’s words and deeds on a daily basis a model for me as a Patriarch? How does God space his work over time, and how am I called to “space my work” like God?
2. How does God “see” creation and “see” man? How do I “see” my work and “see” other people? How does God’s “seeing” challenge my judgments and speech?
3. Just before he addresses them, what is God’s “first action” toward birds and fish? What is God’s “first action” toward men, just before he speaks? What is my “first action” toward living beings? How do I communicate and practice this as a Patriarch?
4. Since I am created in the image and likeness of God, how could I better “image” God as a Patriarch?
5. What are God’s first commands to man? How are these essential to Patriarchy?
6. How does God’s model of work and rest challenge me as a Patriarch?
Step 4 - Make a Resolution
NOTE FOR PILOT SESSION: Read through and choose a resolution for this week from the suggestions below or make your own. A resolution should be active & measurable in your success/failure to accomplish it.
Choose a resolution for this week from the suggestions below or make your own. Tap on a resolution to email it to yourself:
1. I will begin each day by speaking to God and asking for His guidance.
2. I will begin each day by putting my day’s priorities in writing.
3. I will speak a prayer of blessing upon my wife and children this week.
4. I will share a Bible reading with my wife this week.
5. I will end of each day by giving thanks for the “good” I have seen today.
6. I will exercise dominion by scheduling physical exercise this week.
7. I will exercise dominion by scheduling my prayer this week.
8. I will take a full Sabbath day of rest.
Step 5 - Accountability & Vocal Prayer: 5 minutes
NOTE FOR PILOT SESSION: At your first meeting, everyone should choose one prayer partner (or one group of three if there are odd numbers). Your prayer partner will be the same each meeting and their purpose to be someone who you are accountable to for the success/failure of your resolution. Discuss the success/failure of your resolution from your previous meeting and share your new intended resolution with your prayer partner. To close, each partner will offer a vocal, personal prayer for one another. The purpose of this is to exercise you in offering vocal prayer so that you can become comfortable doing the same with your wife and children.
Discuss with your prayer partner the success/failure of your previous resolution & offer a vocal prayer for one another.