Last Fall, by way of introducing myself as the new Chair of the Affiliate Board, I wrote an article sharing some of my initial thoughts about the Maryknoll Affiliates. In it I emphasized the importance of what I think are two necessary characteristics of a successful movement; connection and communication. Board members and Regional Coordinators have begun a number of initiatives to address and strengthen these. These are equally and importantly directly related to key responsibilities of the Affiliate Board. Namely:
- to discover and embrace the wisdom and ever emerging life of the Affiliate movement, and
- to engage in deep listening with the wider Affiliate movement
I think anyone would agree it would be quite difficult to come close to achieving these without connection and communication, especially considering the nature and loose structure of the Affiliates. With that said, however, to be successful will require effort and commitment of both Affiliate leaders and members. It will require dialogue.
To honor my personal commitment in this effort, I wish to continue in an experiment of having monthly conversations with a small group of Affiliates. All Affiliates are invited to participate. If you are reading this; you are invited. These conversations will be conducted using either the Affiliate conference call number via telephone or over the internet using either Zoom video conferencing or Skype. I would expect the conversations to be free-flowing and limited in duration to no more than 1-1/2 hours. Again, the purpose of these conversations is just one attempt for leadership to listen to and be engaged with the wider Affiliate movement.
I think for these conversations to be manageable, effective and meaningful, they will be limited to no more than 4 participants (including myself) at a time. So, the first 3 interested Affiliates to respond will be asked to participate in the next conversation. I will do my best to arrange a date and time that is convenient for all. Any Affiliate not able to participate in this next conversation will have the opportunity to participate in the next one if they wish.
Let’s have morning coffee or perhaps even a nightcap together!