• To show empathy to those who are from war-torn countries
• to live with peace and harmony in oneself, and with those we work with, play with, talk to and those we may incidentally meet in our day
• to show our ethos through our actions and words
• to listen and to understand
• to be compassionate
• how to bring the school community to our church
• walking other people’s shoes
• can we be a model of the ‘Footprints’ poem?
• To keep our faith and belief alive
• be a Jesus person through actions
• ask ourselves what is our purpose in life?
• Are we inclusive of all?
• If we don’t have God/church what do we have?
• Why are we here?
• Forgiveness of wrong - double standards? Abuse to stop.
• To think more broadly about how we are church - in the past we have tried to bring a “disengaged” community into the parish/church. Perhaps God is asking us to take the parish, including the school, into the wider community.
• Service to the community
• leadership model within the church? Laypeople in key positions so the views of the community are heard.
• Call to service
• call to action
• a call to be contemporary/relevant within the 21st-century
• find new ways to be church with simplicity and humbleness
• remember that we are one church
• to be a more human church
• The role of women in the church, in both governance and leadership
• understanding that we all share the responsibility of being church
• inclusivity - all are to be welcomed and to be recognised as important members of the church regardless of their differences
• to be transformed in the fashion of following Jesus
Attempting to group the above into about half a dozen categories, we came up with the following:
To be: empathetic
nurturing in all our relationships
inclusive of all
intentional in living our faith
understanding our faith is one of service.
We chose to explore the topic of inclusivity. Sharing our stories, we heard
- of broken marriages, and how people move through their brokenness to acceptance and renewed life
- of children who are different, and how parents, teachers, siblings come to view differences as being grace-filled
- of young adults, who struggle with various challenges and finally make good
- of how families face and accept homosexual members with love, respect and dignity
- of different ways in which people are brought into the Catholic community and the church.
Sharing and Reflecting on these stories, we came to a deeper appreciation that to be totally inclusive is not simply about not including people from all spheres of life and circumstance. Rather, it involves
• welcoming others with joy and respect for the face of God to be found in the other;
• being empathetic to the needs and circumstances of others;
• nurturing relationships with Jesus into existence,
• and to support those relationships with love, compassion and understanding.
There was a strong sense that what God is calling us to at this time, is to become a people for whom faith is an intention – we, as people of the church, are being called to have the intention of living our beliefs with strength and determination, and choosing to do so on a daily basis.