Giving Voice for Mission

The summer months offer us an opportunity to slow down, slip our feet into a comfortable pair of sandals, and bask in the glow of the sunshine and the glow of our friends and loved ones. Of course our summers are also busy with travel, community assembly days, and retreat. Like always, it is a balancing act between contemplation, community, and action!

This summer of course was a very busy and life-giving time for Giving Voice, as 70 younger women religious (age 25-49) from 33 religious communities gathered in Belmont, California for our 2013 National Gathering. 


Yolanda Tarango, CCVI helped us to break open our gathering theme of "Mission and Ministry in the 21st Century."  Giving Voice Sisters also shared their reflections throughout the four days as part of panels, witness talks, and harvests. A few of these talks are highlighted below.  You can also visit our Giving Voice Podcast Channel to listen to 14 of the talks from the gathering.   

One of the key phrases inspired by Yolanda's presentation and repeated again and again during our four days together, was: "Charism happens."  In my own community, and perhaps in yours, we often say that something special happens when we get together.  Many of our connections these days are virtual via Facebook, email, conference calls and Skype.  Yet when we are in the same room, something special does seem to happen.  

This was certainly true earlier this month in California.  In our circles, at our tables, and late into the night creative, imaginative, energetic and meaningful conversations happened. What's more, plans were made and e-mails were exchanged during our action open space on the last day.  I fully expect many of the creative ideas from California to take root and bloom in the coming weeks, months, and years to come, for the sake of the kindom. 

During our time together, it became clear that Giving Voice is not only a network of support for younger women religious.  Giving Voice is also a network of connection for mission, both now and into the (unknown) future.

As I shared in my harvest of the conference on the closing day:  "We are building the bridge while we are walking on the bridge at the same time.  We may not even know where it is going but we are walking together.  We seek to be the glory of God, fully alive for the kindom of God.  We are one."