Giving Voice Monthly E-Newsletter – August 2012

I don't know about you, but I continue to be astounded by how quickly the seasons change.  Here we are, already at the end of August!  While I am not sure where the summer has gone, I am looking forward to the new adventures in store this Fall as I move to a new city to begin graduate studies in theology.

Many of my younger women religious friends also seem to be in the midst of moves and transitions.  A few weeks ago I posed the following question on our Giving Voice Facebook group: "Raise your hand if you have moved or are moving this summer."  17 virtual hands were raised, with moves due to formation, ministry, education or community needs. While many of our elder Sisters in community have been in the same ministry or living situation for a number of years, transition seems to be part and parcel of the life of the younger religious! I am often reminded of the wise advice I received at my first Giving Voice 20s & 30s retreat: "Start giving away your extra belongings now or you will be packing and unpacking them again and again."  Indeed.  Sometimes the best thing to do is to lighten the load when you are in the midst of a transition.

The larger world of American Religious life seems to be in a transition time as well.  As Pat Farrell, OSF noted so profundly in her LCWR Presidential Address: "We are in a time of crisis and that is a very hopeful place to be."

Our own Jennifer Gordon, SCL was part of a panel at the LCWR assembly called "Religious Life in the Future: What Might it Look Like?"  Jen has been involved with Giving Voice for a number of years and has been very gracious in sharing the text of her talk with us.  We have excerpted part of her talk below and posted the entire text on the Giving Voice website.

Indeed, this is a hopeful time.  One benefit of a transition time is that it causes you to stop and take stock of what is meaningful and important in your life.  In a physical move, we might sort through our closet and bookshelf and decide what we need to hold on to, what we can let go of. I think it is not all that different in religious life today, at this time of crisis, this hopeful place.  Perhaps we are being invited to stop and really take stock of the gifts, challenges, risks and responsibilities that God is calling us to.  We might be surprised at what  we find and who we find is there with us.