Small groups: spiritual freedom

Gather some friends together and utilize this small group outline as structure and a starting point for a small group study and discussion.

This time we explore the video series “Spiritual Freedom”. In this video series, Peter Rhodes guides a woman through twelve simple steps of spiritual growth, using insights from the teachings of the New Church. Ray Silverman narrates. Peter and Ray emphasize that people are powerless over negative thoughts and emotions. They underscore the importance of self-examination. These principles are at the core of many spiritual growth programs, whether found in the Writings of the New Church or in a twelve-step program.

The “Spiritual Freedom” video is divided into eight five-minute segments. Start with Part 1, (or search www.youtube.com for ‘spiritual freedom peter rhodes’)

Worksheets available at www.RiseAboveIt.org

Produced by Farmhouse Production,
© 2009 Glenn Bostock

Weekly outline for group

Week 1 — Introduction

Video Segments

Watch segments 1 and 2

Weekly Quotation

“The first thing we need to learn is that our happiness is not dependent on the external world or on the gratification of our ego.”

Discussion Questions

What life situations come to mind that you might want to work on? In what ways can you see selfishness in your conflicts? How does the idea that happiness comes from letting go of selfishness make you feel?

Week 2 —(Step 1) Life is Unmanageable

Video Segments

Watch segments 3 and 4

Weekly Quotation

“It is a divine impossibility to satisfy the ego.”

Discussion Questions

Have you experienced situations like the one Martha describes? Have there been times when what started small became a huge issue? What were some of the thoughts and feelings you wrote down? What insights did you gain through this process?

Week 3 — (Steps 2,3,4) Higher Power, Letting Go, and Personal Inventory

Video Segments

Watch segments 5 and 6

Weekly Quotation

“[Our] honesty will open the way for God to lead [us] away from ego and into spiritual freedom.”

Discussion Questions

What came up for you as you filled out the worksheet? Can you identify with Martha’s shame? Have you experienced the recoiling and shame that Peter talks about? How you do feel about the idea of working to separate yourself from your ego?

Week 4 — (Steps 5,6,7,8,9) Admit Wrongs, Ready to Change, Prayer, Prepare for and Make Amends

Video Segments

Watch segment 7

Weekly Quotation

“If we are in a negative state, no amount of talk will get us out of it. We need God. We need prayer. We can’t rely on our own ego.”

Discussion Questions

How do you react to these steps? Do they feel possible? Impossible? In what ways are you willing to lay down your egotistic life? How would your life change if you allowed pure love to replace your ego concerns?

Week 5 — (Steps 10,11,12) Admit Wrongs, Pray to Higher Power, Live a New Life, and Share Path with Others

Video Segments

Watch segment 8

Weekly Quotation

“With God all things are possible.”

Discussion Questions

Will you return to these steps and tools? What are your reactions to the program as a whole? Which steps are the most challenging for you?


Rev. Ray Silverman is the chaplain of Bryn Athyn College of the New Church. Peter Rhodes is a counselor who has led workshops on spiritual renewal for more than twenty years. 

Daily Inspiration

"The whole of heaven rests on love as its foundation. "

Arcana Coelestia 1055