By Lori Wilson, co-chair, Associates Leadership Team
On the weekend of October 29-31, the Associates Leadership Team could have been preparing for Halloween, but instead, we engaged in a weekend together – virtually. The theme of our gathering was to “Harvest Hope” by reconnecting with one another, processing the graces of the summer Associates conference, and to let the goals for this year emerge from our hearts.
We prayed together, reflected on our deepest values individually and collectively, and shared the hopes and challenges that we face in deepening and expanding an Associates movement. We also shared a meal together compliments of DoorDash. Our facilitator was Bridget Bearss, RSCJ. She knows our leadership team well, and she skillfully guided us in discernment and planning, drawing on the wisdom of Priya Parker, Theory U, Brene Brown’s book Dare to Lead, restorative justice principles and Margaret Wheatley.
We recognized that we change through relationships when we come to know the other, see with new eyes and feel we have been heard. This invitation to be who we are and to value the other was a strong theme throughout our time together. We identified the needs to be rooted in faith, to be shaped by our charism, and to seek to be open to our differences.
On a larger scale, we were challenged by Margaret Wheatley’s question “What is the world asking of us now?” and to discern how we respond to that need. We asked ourselves: how do we open the space for others and how do we live into the mystery of what is to come, while daring to lead and co-create?
We felt overwhelmed at times by the enormity of this task and the murkiness of charting a path forward. But, we befriended the not-knowing, and stepped into trusting the Spirit and all of you – our co-conspirators as we move into the next year and next phase of our Associates movement, knowing that we have all been ‘caught by the charism,’ and that we are co-responsible for it.
We left feeling grateful to have had the time together, and although it was virtual, it was a place of connection and sharing. We hope we will be able to gather together in the same physical location in the spring. You will hear more about our work as we develop our goals together.