Right now there is one Maryknoll Affiliate Virtual Chapter. * The members of that Chapter held there second “meeting” last Wednesday. As there is no geographic location for the chapter, as yet it remains nameless.
The decision to move forward with a virtual chapter surfaced over a year ago in a Board meeting with the realization that many who had been inquiring about becoming Affiliates lived too far from an existing chapter to join. Additionally, several Affiliates who moved away from their original chapter and hoped to join another, also found themselves geographically distant from any current chapter.
So, the first virtual chapter was born. There are 5 members who “gather” via conference call. There is some thought to also including a video connection like Zoon, Skype, etc. in the future. Those members are from Colorado, Minnesota, upstate NY, Connecticut and, aren’t we lucky, Sr. Ellen McDonald MM, co-founder of the Affiliate movement. For now, they have decided to meet quarterly. Minus seeing each other’s faces or sharing potluck delights, the first two virtual sessions appear to mirror the spirit and shared solidarity of local chapters. Very encouraging.
* There is also a pilot Contemplative Virtual Chapter in its initial stages of development.
1) Where do we want Maryknoll Affiliates to be in 5 years? 2) What are 1-3 actions steps to get us there? While Board chair Dave Schaffner presented these two questions to Board members, they are critical question extended to all of us as Affiliates. Given the geographic expanse, life experience and 1000's of years of commitment to mission among us, how might each of us (you) respond to these questions. Any insights (broad or particularly focused) in this regard would be very welcome.
Thank you much.
In the first two sentences of her book, Becoming Wise - An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living, Krista Tippett, the host of the public radio program, On Being, writes: "I'm a person who listens for a living. I listen for wisdom, and beauty, and for voices not shouting to be heard."
On Sunday, June 11th I had the chance to meet with 16 members of the San Diego Chapter, who gathered in the rectory of Saint Mary Magdalen Parish in the Mission Hill section of that city. Hugh Menton, Regional Coordinator for the California Region, drove all the way from Long Beach to also be at the meeting. Hugh's wife Jean wasn't able to make it that Sunday.
Like many if not all Affiliate Chapters, there was a felt sense of welcome, of engaging reflection, of meaningful conversation, of humor, of kindness and of being at home. There were no 'voices shouting to be heard' - where there is genuine community, no one had to shout. During this moment in history when many feel our country's deepest values are in free fall, we were all very grateful for this time and space when 'people of the pillars' (Spirituality, Community, Global Vision & Action) could come together. Besides that, the members spoke of really good brownies at the pot luck gathering to follow... speaking here of only legitimate culinary ingredients.
It struck me once again while in San Diego that Maryknollers are people on the margins trying very hard and with a great deal of integrity to speak a word of life, of Life.
If you haven't already done so, please consider this very special opportunity to travel to Guatemala and meet with Affiliates and other Maryknollers from around the world.
The 5 Consensus Action Statements below are from the recent Affiliate Board meeting - May 5-7, 2017
CAS #1. On the June Regional Coordinator phone call, the RCs will deliberate and suggest a framework for the selection of RCs and will decide whether RCs should have set terms. The Board will take their input and develop the framework at the next Board meeting.
CAS #2. Everyone who is an Affiliate or is in contact with an Affiliate chapter will receive both the digital version of Not So Far Afield & the Monday Morning Update email. The process of merging the two databases will be worked on by Mary Ryan Hotchkiss, Ginny McEvoy, and Bob Short.
CAS #3. The Board approves the Roles and Responsibilities documents for the Chapter Coordinator/Contact Person, Nominating Committee, and Finance Committee as amended.
CAS #4. The revised draft of the Board Member Manual of 2017 will be reviewed by 3 board members who will submit their comments and suggestions by July 1, 2017. Dave Schaffner and Bob Short will incorporate suggestions and possible new materials and finalize the revised Board Member Manual.
CAS #5. All board members will respond to Dave Schaffner by email by July 1 to the questions: 1) where do we want Maryknoll Affiliates to be in 5 years? 2) what are 1-3 actions steps to get us there?
You might have heard from recent news stories that ISIS-connected local insurgents in the southern Philippines attached Catholic/Christian Churches in Mindanao.
Columban Missionary F. Paul Glynn wrote the following:
"I feel the profound heartbreak of knowing that St. Mary's Cathedral, Marawi has been burned by ISIS-inspired terrorists. The Vicar General of Marawi, Fr. Chito Suganob and other Catholics were abducted during the last Novena Mass yesterday afternoon. A picture of them, still alive, was posted on Facebook this morning by the captives. Nearby Dansalan College United Church of Christ was also burned and Christian staff taken as captives. We are praying that the abductors will not kill any of them."
As many of you know, Fred, former Affiliate Executive Coordinator, and his wife Jet (along with former Maryknoll Lay Missioner, Chris Vertucci) have been doing mission work in the area of Mindanao for many years. We believe they are safe, in a part of Mindanao fairly distant from where these frightening events took place. Please send your thought and prayers to Jet, Chris, Fred and the people of the Philippines.
Affiliates are invited along with others to join in Maryknoll's interactive Advanced Formation Seminar using the lens of global solidarity to explore the intersection of ecology, migration and global economic justice through the pastoral circle and Theory U. It will take place over 5 day August 7 - 11th in Los Altos, CA.
For more information or to register go to: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07edzaljhq59fecb94&llr=4wmvzncab
A key question scheduled for the recent conference call between Board and Regional Coordinator members was: "Where do you want the Maryknoll Affiliates to be in five years?" Board Chair Dave Schaffner suggested that to that questions we attach a second one: "Where do you think we will be in 5 years?" They are critical questions for all of us to consider. Hopefully many Affiliate Chapters will take up the question as well.
Agnes Walsh of the Long Island Chapter recently wrote to say that their Chapter will be addressing those two questions in their upcoming meeting on June 11th. In her email, Agnes added, "When I read in 'Focusing-Spring 2017 '( A Publication of The Sisters of St. Joseph,Brentwood, New York, Dreaming a Grace Poem by Marlene Marburg,I though that this might be a way to spark a conversation about the above two questions. I wanted to share this idea with you as a possible way for other chapters to use for reflection and sharing."
This creative approach adds a new and expansive way of addressing those questions. To see that Dreaming a Grace Poem that Agnes referenced, go to: http://brentwoodcsj.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Focusing-12.pdf
Thank you Agnes.
MAC 2017 could well be a pivotal time for the Affiliate Movement and for us as individual participants. In addition to being a time to come together again since MAC 2014 (always an inspirational moment) this Conference is the first to take place outside the U.S. in a beautiful setting (Verbo Encarnado) within a country and people that have a great deal to share with and teach all of us. Just stepping into this rich culture would alone be an exciting and worthwhile adventure. What makes MAC 2017 even more pivotal for the movement and for each of us, is the very thoughtful - carefully organized - fun-filled - faith-centered and engaging development of theme and schedule that the Guatemalan Conference Committee (GCC) has prepared.
The Theme is Buen Vivir - Living Life to the Full... In whatever space we as an Affiliate movement or as individuals find ourselves today, this is always something we need to bring to mind and heart.
Here are some of the specific goals developed and translated by the GCC: