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Dear CO Community,
The Governing Board met at Benet Hill Monastery outside Colorado Springs, Colorado. The framework we have put in place for 2017 includes two part-time positions: an Interim Administrator (Pat Johnson), a Coordinator of Volunteers (Marie Howard); and an Ad Hoc Transition Team (Maru Ladorn de Guevara, Adal Henriquez, John Kelsey, Jenny Adamson and Julie Saad).
We are also planning to have a conference in Denver in September of 2017. We will announce details and dates as soon as they are known.
One of our tasks was to articulate our intentions for the coming year. We found this experience Spirit-filled and joyful. We wanted to share the myriad of intentions that arose. From this list we hope to prioritize and focus our attention in the coming year. While not meant to be exhaustive or fully explained, we invite you to join us in opening to the Spirit’s promptings as we journey together in love.
- Share the Prayer: Focus on sharing prayer practices of Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, Welcoming Prayer and Forgiveness Prayer.
- Communication: Recognizing the high priority of communication in the vital functioning of CO, commit to using all available communication channels.
- Transparency: Commit to transparency and openness on all levels, respecting all insights and information as vital and available to the entire organism.
- Contemplative Community: Support the transformation from a corporate structure to a contemplative community.
- International Conference: Hold an International Conference to bring together the CO community, encouraging open communication, discussion of ideas and sharing of the CO vision.
- Simplicity: In supporting the needs of the CO community, avoid complex structures. Strive for simplicity in communication, programs and resources.
- Volunteer Organism: Promote the involvement of volunteers (and minimize the hiring of paid staff as much as possible and reasonable). Recognizing that Contemplative Outreach is essentially an organism served by and for volunteers, ensure consultation, support and appreciation of volunteers.
- Financial Openness and Self-Sustaining Activities: Ensure financial transparency to the CO organization. Encourage chapters and local programs/activities to be self-sustaining.
- Resources: Support the CO community with resources, activities and programs that are accessible, affordable and available.
- Stability: Stabilize the support system for CO.
- Listen and Respond: Ensure that leadership is designed to listen deeply and respond to the emerging needs of the CO community, including providing financial support.
- Chapter Support: Ensure that CPS service teams and chapter volunteers receive the resources needed (financial and personal support) to share the practices and support the needs of chapters.
- International: Support international growth and development in a real and concrete way, including financial investment, recognizing that growth in Centering Prayer and contemplative practices in new locations is a genuine fruit of the divine economy.
- Investment: Seek ways to invest financially in CO growth, partnering and support.
- Dialogue and Partnering: Energetically reach out to other contemplative groups for dialogue and potential partnering.
- Interspiritual Dialogue: Similarly, become aware of ways to participate in interspiritual dialogue. Seek out opportunities to sponsor or partner with interspiritual contemplative groups.
- Trust: Commit to supporting a culture of radical, invincible trust.
- Collaboration and Empowerment: In transitioning to a broad-based contemplative structure, led by the Holy Spirit and serving the needs of all members, respect and engage the principles of collaboration and empowerment.
- Board Meetings: Facilitate three face-to-face Governing Board meetings. Include Transition Team members.
Please feel free to share and let us know your thoughts! After all, you will be holding us accountable, we hope!
In Christ’s love and Peace,
Your Governing Board
Fr. Gilberto Walker, Tom Smith, Lois Snowden, Thomas, Hall, Mary Dwyer, Kathy DiFede, Nick Cole
Here is an article from Julie Saad about the January 2017 meetings of the Governing Board and Transition team.