Monday, July 25, 2011

Open Space

Click here to read a PDF with the Open Space Harvests posted either on chart paper at the conference and/or the blog to date.

Open Space Hosts:  Use the comment box on this post the harvests from your Open Space conversations.  Please include the Question as well as the fruits of your conversation or a "60-second commercial".  Click here to post your open space harvest!
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Susan Rose, CSJP said...

"If we are for the world, how do we actively engage prophetic witness/action while attending to real maintenance needs?"

Justice Issues at home, in the world

Money for maintenance, for our elders, for our lives of "poverty," for mission

How to have the conversation?

Do we need money to be prophetic?

We want to be prophetic, but some of our Sisters can't handle that.

Our Founders took the risk because they didn't have any money, but we've gotten rich

Our Founders were called crazy ... are we ready to take that risk?

To stand on the edge?
To be accountable?
In community, in the world, FOR THE WORLD

Anonymous said...

I feel so hopeful and that I have started to find my voice! I am excited for the new life that is emerging, not to mention the support of my peers as well as the older sisters.

Amy Hereford, CSJ, JD said...

We talked about the Emerging Future - what are we doing? what should we be doing? what could we do?
We talked about our hopes and dreams for a future of religious live: women living vowed life in vibrant local communities, living together, praying together and working together, serving a world hungering for justice, for meaning and for sustainability.
Those present shared their stories of starting small, taking steps to build these communities, and finding that as they became established, others heard about the life and wanted to join and share and spread the life. Life begets Life.

Anonymous said...

"The Gift of the Gap"

We know the challenges of the age gap in religious life, but what are the gifts? What is God doing in this space? How do we support each other in the gap?

Some of the strengths of the gap include:
1. Purposefully build community.
2. Finding our voices and claiming who we are.
3. A diversity of friendships.

One great image: Instead of a building a bridge across the gap--an unnatural, human-made structure--what about persons on each side coming down into the canyon to meet. Actually going into the gap. Coming to meet in deep space.

And we had one helpful solution: laughter. Laughter is universal. If we can take ourselves less seriously and find ways to use laughter to lubricate conversation, connecting and finding our voices in deep space might just be possible.

maco said...

"How do we, as women religious, stand with those that are marginalized in our church and feel supported by our community?"

The discussion led us to believe that the "great work" can not be done alone but in collaboration and partnership. Offering educational opportunities and identifying together groups that are marginalized in our church (i.e. women, the LGBTQ community and others) can be a first step. Publicly standing with the marginalized intercommunally adds more power. We wondered how we can bring these questions and concerns to LCWR.

Julie said...

The Question posed in this session of Open Space was, "What is working in your local communities environmentally?" There was an addendum added "with regard to the call to live more Counter-culturally."

We spent some time sharing about our own desire around this topic... to live more sustainably, to be contentious of our presence and to consider our vows.

One question that surfaced was "is the cost too much?" "NO!"

Programs like "Awakening the Dreamer," Sisters of the Earth and others surfaced. We also talked about ways in which we are doing things well in our communities with Community gardens, gardens rather than grass, and the list goes on.

The big concern that surfaced was around consuming more than we need and realizing the system that we live in as a stimulus for over-consumption.

Jessi said...

"To 20's and 30's: What's our role/responsibility in the futuring dialogue of Religious Life?"

We've experienced such a strong sense of call...but often ask why us? why now? What follows is glimmers and glimpses we were able to articulate on one day, in one space.

We come to community with more life experience, training, etc. Ready for mission.

We call for dialogue and deeper conversation

Our presnece may be a call to inclusiveness because of culturally diverse backgrounds

We know diversity is a gift.

Because of generational differences, we have to "translate" most of the time while remaining authentic...perhaps it's a gift being cultivated in us for the sake of the world.

We offer the gift of another perspective.

Collaboration: We are energized by it and don't fear losing our charism

Deep listening: to God, to self, to order to act

We're given an invitation to be pioneers

Be a presence that disturbs...which may seem to others like a pain or annoying mosquito in the night

We're not just here to be the future. We are the present. We're called to be responsive and live into the charism we were called to...for the good of the world!

Susan Rose, CSJP said...

"What does it mean to be in right relationship with the hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church?"

The following were parts of our conversation and were perspectives held by at least one person in the room:

•The church as the elephant in the room
•Why belong?
•Corruption/injustice vs. the sacred gift of our faith
•Can we work within and reform?
•Within the church we challenge and preach the truth.
•Termite theology—doing our part to change the system, which sometimes consists of making holes. Eventually it will collapse.
•How do we harness our power?
•Come back to Jesus.
•Discontinuity for the sake of greater continuity
•The church is the holy women and men—the people.
•When will we use our voices to speak up about hierarchical injustice?
•Polite, do our own thing
•Our relationship to the church through baptism vs. canonical relationship?
•What are the advantages/disadvantages to canonical protection?
•Come with gentleness and compassion
•I want to be a part of building up, not tearing down.
•The termites can have the hierarchical structure.
•Some are denied the Eucharist because of the shortage of priests and some diocese’s poor handling of the issue.

Carmen Barsody, OSF said...

Inclusion/Exclusion: Encouraging an ongoing reflection of ways in which we ourselves include and exclude.

Notes from Open Space Circle Conversation...

* Hispanic Sisters in group shared of people feeling "pity" for them for not speaking English. It is not a shame to not speak English. Meet us with dignity. When the world is divided in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th world, those who come from less developed countries often struggle with a "self-victimization", a feeling of exclusion. Sisters in the U.S. spoke of working through attitudes and beliefs that people coming from other countries were simple and uneducated. Surprised when someone is educated and speaks multiple languages.

* In this conference and in some of our communities we are seeking to hear from the Hispanic voices. What is the experience of the African/African American Sisters.

* While the primarily white women religious are in conversation of how to move beyond the hierarchical church, people from Latin American countries are seeking acknowledgment of being part of the church and equal members of our communities; of feeling like they have a right to exist in the world.

* In being inclusive we may risk being excluded. We may speak publicly on issues of immigration, trafficking, privitazation of water, but where is our voice for our the more "risky" support of our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) sisters and brothers, who are us, our associates, our families, our friends. It is the relationships we have that call us to speak out, that give us the courage to speak out.

*People want to belong not only be welcomed.

* One spoke of how living with mental illness is not something discussed openly in communities.

* There is a cost to remaining silent.
There is a cost for speaking aloud.

Are there communities who are willing to work together to raise a collective voice in support of our LGBTQ Brothers and Sisters.

* Can we be courageous and say aloud where we stand and with whom we stand?

Anonymous said...

I wish to sit and share with others their understanding of "COMMUNITAS"..

+Those of us first gathered began to share about important ways that we have been living COMMUNITY...
+Someone arrived and we asked her to share with us the understanding of this NEW word COMMUNITAS as given in the book by Gittons(not sure of spelling)
+COMMUNITAS is understood as finding ways to ignite the fire that once served as our foundation.
+Some points that we shared included a communal review of the original community documents to catch the "spirit"
+Gather from the members what they value in life and keep sharing around these.
+Incorporate some ongoing form of faith sharing about values and founding materials.
+Listen deeply to each other without judgment...with curiosity
+Stay in conversations about all of the above and also our EXPECTATIONS of one another.

Anonymous said...

this is just a P.S. for my posting for anyone interested in 'COMMUNITAS'

A wonderful song that expresses this reality is IN THE NAME OF LOVE by
Jennifer Corlett,

It moves thru our whole life indicating the PASSION of that stage. enjoy

Anonymous said...

Lesbian/Gay Issues
The following questions and discussion summarize our open space discussion on lesbian/gay issues on July 23,
Jeannine Gramick, SL

1. How can leaders support lesbian members?
-Write about GLBT issues in the newsletter
-Invite a lesbian sister to speak to the community
2. How can campus ministers re-engage GLBT Catholics in the Church?
-Need to build trust in the minister
3. Why do we self-censor?
-Sponsor a GLBT event in our religious facilities. Take the risk of hierarchical intervention. It may or
may not happen. Deal with it when/if it comes.
-Do not call ourselves prophets if we are not willing to take a risk
4. Can we support children of same-sex couples in our community schools?
-Do not punish children.
-If there is hierarchical interference, say, “This is our school. We are in charge/decide.”
5. How can we help lesbian religious to come out?
-Attend retreats for lesbian religious at Rockhaven.
-Get on the list-serve, Circle of Lesters, for lesbian religious.
-Attend New Ways Ministry conferences for lesbian religious, congregational leaders, and formation/
vocation ministers.

Vicki Lichtenauer, SCL said...

We talked about engaging our older sisters.
We concluded that each community has some sisiters that do not engage.
We concluded that some type of on going formation is critical.
including some of the following topics
-risk taking- in new relationships and conversations
-willingness to invite and identify gifts that each person brings ( older and newer members)
-sincere affirmation of each other
-language barriers- claify.
Does settled mean grounded in a healthy way or unchanging
-Be attentive to normal life development and the changes typical in the various decades of life
20/ 80 rule
If you can get 20 percent of the people in the dialogue,and the action, all will be transformed in some way

Krissie Koll said...

Anonymous referenced the song "IN THE NAME OF LOVE" by Jennifer Corlett,OSU. Where can that song or album be purchased?