Dear Fellow Affiliates,
Advent greetings from your Affiliate Board! We hope that all of you are being touched by the joy and beauty of this special season. As Isaiah reminds us: "The lion shall lie down with the lamb… and a little child will lead them… They shall not hurt nor kill on all my holy mountain and the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea."
In embracing these promises of Isaiah, our heartwish is that we, as Maryknoll Affiliates, are in some small way helping to bring forth this peaceable kin-dom. As we continue to journey together, deepening our understanding of and strengthening our lived expression of the Maryknoll Affiliate mission charism, may the love that has been gifted to us in the vulnerable, displaced and exiled Jesus reach to cover all of our earth and cosmos.
Having reflected upon this year past, we gratefully acknowledge the abundance of many blessings. Amongst the highlights were a truly spirit-filled, international MAC conference in June of 2011 and many wonderful Maryknoll Centennial events. As we look to the year ahead, we eagerly await ongoing Centennial celebrations as the focus will shift now from Society to Congregational activities. For our Affiliate movement, we see many opportunities and challenges ahead. As we begin to plan for 2012, we have identified 5 priority areas for the upcoming year. We would like to share these with you here and invite your comments and input:
- Completing evaluation of the Experimental Model: EMEC Committee is currently reviewing Chapter feedback from the Appreciative Inquiry process and will present an evaluation summary at the joint meeting of the Board and Regional Coordinators April 2012.
- Search for a new Executive Coordinator: A search committee have been formed and is currently working on job description, search and recruitment planning, etc anticipating Fred Goddard's departure in August 2012
- Hispanic/International Outreach: As the Hispanic presence in the US church continues to grow, outreach to Latinos will be an important priority for the part of the Affiliate movement based in the US. (Affiliates were recently invited to a meeting with the other Maryknoll expressions to discuss how we might work together.) For our Affiliate movement as a whole, however, we are increasingly aware of our growing international qualities. As the global nature of the Affiliates continues to broaden and deepen, we will need to search for ways by which we can truly become an integrated and international movement.
- Youth Outreach: Currently there are three Maryknoll Affiliate Youth Clubs that are a part of our wider community. They offer an exciting experiment and slightly different model of being Affiliates and we hope that we can continue to learn from their experience with us. Also, we hope that we can continue to develop a variety of ways in which we will connect with younger people.
- Broader Collaboration: As the diversity and complexity of our world grows, we believe that the Affiliates can be strengthened and enriched by reaching out to work together with other groups. Perhaps we might learn from the Occupy movement who in their recent NYC General Assembly stated: "We, the people, acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members...As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies."
Please do offer your comments, suggestions and insights on any and all of the above. Our Affiliate Board truly hopes that we are journeying together with the many small mission communities that make up this wonderful movement and wish to truly carry out our work in a spirit of servant-leadership.
Best wishes for a happy and holy Christmas,
Ann Carr & the Affiliate Board