By Alice Byrnes, OP (Amityville)
Immediately following the DSC convocation, the Annual Meeting of Elected Leaders took place. Building on the energy that had been generated from the convocation, the follow-up meeting moved forward to planning for the future. As the elected leaders tended to their agenda, they seemed to transition from the role of Edgewalker to that of Hearthtender. While they were inspired to think globally, they were challenged to act locally.
The Planning Committee presented three possible scenarios for regional meetings of the Dominican Sisters Conference projected for 2013. They provided a springboard for additional considerations such as holding meetings in a variety of sites rather than defined regions in addition to the role that technology might play in facilitating maximum participation. While there is a goal of building relationships across congregations, there is a strong desire to take collective action that flows from the mission of the Dominican Sisters Conference.
Then, discussion on local gatherings of the Dominican Sisters Conference shifted to the global perspectives of Dominican Sisters International. Sister Fabiola thanked the elected leaders for more than $1 million dollars that they have contributed to the Solidarity Fund since 2001, while Sister Toni Harris outlined how a percentage of the fund has been disbursed to support Dominican life and mission throughout the world.
The demands of pressing business refocused the agenda to more practical matters such as consensus that elected leaders need to meet annually, the tedious work of examining the proposed by-laws for the Dominican Sisters Conference, and also a review of the annual budget.
While the elected leaders were stretched to think broadly, they were challenged to delve into the details of implementation. When the meeting was over, the work was certainly not finished. In truth, we’ve only just begun!