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Religious Leadership in a Time of Challenge and Change

california-discernment2014-thumbAs part of our California Regional Discernment Day September 26th, Sr. Joyce Meyer gave us a talk about the challenges facing leadership.   Joyce reminded us that each of us is a leader.  Here is some of the wisdom that Joyce shared with us.  For the future, those in leadership face three main challenges:

  1. How to develop a global perspective
  2. How to develop a habit of contemplative listening and dialogue
  3. A commitment to develop networks and partnerships.

Joyce reminded us that each decision we make impacts the global situation.  Within this global perspective, Joyce noted five challenges:  

  1. the growth of Islam,
  2. HIV/Aids,
  3. the emergence of African cultural beliefs and practices in religious communities,
  4. poverty,
  5. technology and how it is used in community life.  

california-discernment2014-joyceIn contemplative listening and dialogue, she challenged us to embrace our own darkness so that only then can we address power, abusive structures, and let go of defending our positions.  

In developing networks and partnerships, Joyce encouraged us to collaborate with other religious communities, consider mentoring future leaders and keep our lay partners involved.  

After listening to Joyce and spending time in quiet reflection, each small group came to a consensus about the qualities for the next leadership team.  Joyce facilitated the day and encouraged us not only to name the qualities of the next team but to consider what “I can do as a member to help the Region move forward.”    

As a region we came to a consensus about these qualities for the next team: Inspiring; courageous women who have the vision to lead the Region for the next 6 years working in collaboration with the sisters to draw the best from each one.
A team with a collaborcalifornia-discernment2014-centrepieceative, contemplative, and discerning approach to move us forward into the global reality with a genuine care for the sisters.
A leader who operates out of collaborative communication, a motivator, one who can inspire, and keep confidentiality.

As part of our day, each community brought forward a symbol of the fruit of their local discernment and presented it in a distinctive way.

We enjoyed having Srs. Patricia Lenihan and Winfrida Chileshe present at the day.  They led us in prayer and in the closing ritual they received our written nominations.  We are grateful for their presence in the Region. Local communities enjoyed their visits.  We are also grateful for their leadership to the Congregation.