Throughout my life, I have been aware of an intimate call by God. As a young child, I knew this to be awe, freedom and care for the world. Before learning the “rules”, I innately believed I was empowered to bring about good in whomever and whatever I encountered. Because God’s presence was so near to me, I felt there were no limits to what I could do for the benefit of humanity. As a growing youth reading scripture, I felt inspired and dreamed of helping make the world a more Christ-like, healed environment. Over time, I met many roadblocks to growth within the Catholic Church and society because I am a woman. It became very difficult to navigate the waters of what is acceptable work for women in the Church.
I have learned to circumnavigate the “straight” path for doing ministry in the Church. If I am to remain faithful to what I perceive as the Holy Spirit stirring within me, I have had no choice but to find new ways to do ministry. Rather than leave the church entirely, my hope is to enter into dialogue, reflection, prayer and discernment from other faith seekers to explore what call means at this precipitous time. I believe each person thrives best when supported by a community that listens attentively and empowers members to live and attain their greatest potential. In reflecting on the Discern, Dream and scheme workshop, I believe this may be a much needed sacred space for people, primarily women, to explore new ways to do ministry and push the church towards much needed fresh air. The spirit is moving strongly in our time. Some see the Church as collapsing- I see it as emerging into something unnamed and new. The church has been brought to its knees. Rather than being the death knell, this may be the moment that is needed to allow springs of living water to flow. This, along with the seclusion of quarantine, has given the church a powerful pause to reflect on what it means to be church.
I believe this workshop can encourage, challenge and inspire me and all who are in the group, to name or remain faithful to the sense of call within our hearts, recognizing God at the center of our lives.
I would like to invite Hildegard of Bingen, the great writer, composer, philosopher and mystic, to walk with me in this workshop. She delighted in expressing her understanding of God and the natural world in a variety of ways. May she provide inspiration and courage in us all!