Update (October 2011)
The Value of Coming Together
As summer comes to an end, I’m aware that many of us have experienced significant group events: family reunions, congregational gatherings, the annual LCWR assembly. There is something renewing about coming together. Each event, in its own way, is a snapshot of a moment in time in the life of a group, an experience of who we are now. It’s also an occasion to discover who we are becoming. Often we see something of ourselves reflected in the faces of those with whom we connect. We also hear ourselves in a fresh way. What others articulate can resonate with a lived reality or a vague sense of something that we may not yet be able to put into words. To be in the presence of one another, focused on what is important to us, and engaged in honest conversation, enables not only a recognition of what is, but also a glimpse of the “something new” that wants to emerge. Coming together can change us and cause collective shifts that are subtle but real. It can spark little leaps in a direction toward which a group is leaning, consciously or unconsciously.
This last LCWR assembly was such an experience for me. It felt to me like something had shifted in the gathered LCWR membership. I noticed an ease, a relaxed vitality. We’re beyond the struggle of dealing directly with the apostolic visitation. Perhaps that made a difference. Maybe it was the energy unleashed by the decidedly contemplative style of prayer, ritual, and music which kept us moving back and forth from attentiveness to both inner and outer movements. As always, the speakers inspired and nourished us. It felt rich and grace-filled.
by Pat Farrell, OSF — LCWR President