A New Year

Happy New Year, everyone!  The dawn of a new year is a great time to set goals for the coming year and to take a look at our lives, and I guess that's why so many people do so at this time of year.  Well, the Giving Voice core team met right at the onset of January to take stock of things, to discuss how our group is doing, and to take care of some business.  As members of the core team, we really see ourselves as place holders – sisters who are taking a turn at holding the circle, keeping track of the logistics, and trying to serve all of you in the best way that we can – and all of us are in the circle as well.  When we took on this core team role as place holders, we met and discerned together about what we saw as the purpose of Giving Voice and the principles by which we'd like to serve all of you.   When we met this last time, we revisited our purpose and principles, and then thought it would be a good idea to share this with all of you, our members and friends.  We're all in the circle together, after all.  We followed the Chaordic Stepping Stones, part of the Art of Hosting.  If you'd like, you can learn more about that on the Art of Hosting website.

Here are our purpose and principles:

The Purpose: Creating spaces for younger and newer members to grow in freedom and mutuality in religious life. Modeling wholeness, freedom and mutuality for our communities, church and world. Engaging the emergence of God's dream in our world.

The Principles:  Shared responsibility for the work of Giving Voice, good communication, mindfulness and attentiveness to the larger context of religious life and the world, and operating out of a spirit of welcome and mutuality. 

Does it sound about right?  Does this resonate with you? 

We have also had multiple conversations about the needs of the sisters in our Giving Voice group.  In many ways we're in touch with them (because we are in the circle too and know our own needs as younger women religious), but in other ways we're only guessing at what others' needs might be.  To the purpose of really learning about the needs of the women in our group, we'd like to have some conference calls where we all could enter into a conversation.  We love our Facebook group and how well that's taken off; we'd like to compliment that online sharing through some phone conversations.  We're looking to begin this in late February and early March, so be on the lookout for a sign up! 

We are always looking for ways to maintain our friendships, to know each other, and to welcome new members between our conferences, and so we hope that the Facebook group and page and our conversations will serve our purpose.  Don't forget that we are still having conferences, though!  There is nothing that replaces opportunities to connect with each other face to face – so don't miss out on the opportunity of our upcoming July 2013 conference!