Imagining Justice: The Beautiful Not Yet: Hope, Hard Times and Faithfulness

Pictured (L to R ): Margaret Anderson (Hope), Mary Feigen (Hope), Didi Madden (Blauvelt), Ellenrita Purcaro (Blauvelt), Carrie Newcomer, Marcelline Koch (Springfield), Kathy Nolan (Adrian), Susanna Vasquez (Mission San Jose) and Reg McKillip (Sinsinawa).

Eight Dominican leaders and justice promoters joined over fifty other justice seekers for the LCWR Imagining Justice gathering.  The theme of this year’s workshop was The Beautiful Not Yet: Hope, Hard Times & Faithfulness, based on presenter Carrie Newcomer’s song of the same title.

The justice-focused reflective experience drew on Newcomer’s music and poetry.  Participants were reminded that they are always moving toward the horizon of good, knowing that it is an orientation rather than a destination.  Sometimes we get to see it; however, peace, love, truth and justice probably won’t be fulfilled in our lifetimes.  What does it mean to rest in the not yet?

In the midst of hard times, delighting in the stories, people, events and practices that sustain become acts of resistance.  Using the belief that poetry points to more than it says, Newcomer led the group in visioning our hope for the world, what feeds that hope, and the realities that block it.  Working through and around those ideas, she/we amazingly created a poem set to music for our Imagining Justice song.

The final session moved into the continuing conversation of how to provide for justice work into the future.  The goal was to reimagine and rethink, not to create a plan.  However, the work is organized, justice seekers remain anchored by the knowledge that hope is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart.  And as Barbara Kingsolver notes, “hope is a renewable resource.” 

Marcelline Koch, OP and Kathy Nolan, OP