When I lean into the first impressions I had of the meeting with the Board and the Transition Advisory Team in San Antonio this past May 2017, the words that come to me are CLICKING CLOSENESS. This was my first time at a face-to-face meeting with everyone. What has been built among the group is total openness, honesty, respect, loads of humor, and a huge amount of love. It was palpable and contagious.
The Board worked on a huge agenda, did three periods of Centering Prayer every day, ate sumptuous meals together, and felt the power of what happens when there are a group of persons sitting in circle, willing to drop all baggage at the doorway before entering, and feel what the Spirit is attempting to offer. The deep sharing with one another face-to-face deepens our consciousness of what the Holy Spirit is doing in us. Although the Spirit orders all things sweetly, the process can appear chaotic and disorderly.
As our Contemplative Outreach organism continues to evolve, so does the Governing Board. Fr. Gilberto Walker offered his resignation from the Board to better fulfill his responsibilities in Cuba. Gilberto's three-year term ended in December 2016, but he graciously consented to continue serving during this time of transition. Contemplative Outreach greatly benefited from his steady, contemplative service. The Board expressed their gratitude to Gilberto and accepted his resignation. With the Board now down two members since Mary Dwyer resigned, and with the Board and the Transition Advisory Team essentially working as one body, the Spirit moved the Board members to ask the Transition Advisory Team to join as Board members with a term of either two or three years. All five members of the Transition Advisory Team accepted the invitation.
The Board is focusing on our incredible grass roots organism that is the heartbeat and soul of who we are. That being the focus, we are attempting to see what the needs are and to respond. The communication team is reaching out globally to keep the connections alive and vital. The invitation is for our interaction to become more fluid and dynamic — less top down, more participation from the bottom up and everywhere in between. A new culture is forming and it is a culture of spirit. Basically, it is all about relationship which builds intimacy and trust in the total organism even with its diversity of viewing points or maybe because of its diverse viewing points. This was modeled exquisitely by a visit from the Contemplative Outreach San Antonio leadership who shared their stories and inspired us.
We are trusting Spirit as we continue to LISTEN together, going ever deeper in the prayer and service, and opening moment by sacred moment to God's loving presence within.
Pat Johnson, Administrator