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Care to Connect?

Photo by Shane Rounce//Unsplash

I had another remarkable experience of Conversations in the Spirit this week. More than 900 people, over 95% women, from around the world engaged in one of these synodal moments under the auspices of the World Union of Catholic Women's Organisations (WUCWO) and with the expert assistance of Ignatian Encounter Ministry (thanks Bob et al!). In my conversation circle were 4 women and our facilitator: from Canada, Portugal, Tanzania, and me and the facilitator from the US. What an experience of the universal church in connection with each other!

We shared three commonalities in my group: all women, all wishing to connect to each other, and desiring to participate in this synodal movement of the Spirit. When our sacred, honest contributions were done and we returned to the large group, we were all asked to name the graces of this experience in the chat. Esperanza! Hope! Connection. conexion, connexion (sorry, the Wix platform doesn't allow me to accent the "o" in the Spanish word for connection!). Over and over and over again, the chat was inundated with these two words.

The grace of connection. In a time where social scientists are telling us there's an epidemic of loneliness, this offered two hours of the kind of connection that makes a difference: heart-to-heart, spirits-to-Spirit, around a subject that matters...our connection to our Church.

The grace of connection. In a time where polarization, echo chambers and dehumanization characterize the US political climate, the heart-to-heart connection this conversation enabled is, well, heartening. There IS a way to connect to one another across the many circumstances, attitudes, and experiences that are part of our lives.

The grace of connection. Those who are studying aging indicate that a lack of social connection, which they define as "the degree to which people have and perceive a desired number, quality and diversity of relationships that create a sense of belonging, and being cared for, valued and supported" increases the risk of dementia by 50%, heart disease by 29% and stroke by 32%. So it's possible the praise for connection was so high since the preponderance of participants in this experience were 65 and older...but...still...

The grace of connection. One of the hopes that emerged from this experience is that we can have more of these experiences of the universal Church, connected through the modern technology of Zoom...a heretofore impossible reality.

The Pentecost Vigil Project, Inc. believes in the graces that flow from connection! We know that we share our Christian discipleship with billions of people, literally. We know we are all journeying with Christ, building the Kingdom now and awaiting its fullness. And we know that the Spirit works through us when we deliberately connect to Christ and each other.

We invite you to connect with us! Comment on our blogs and Facebook posts, and start to build our digital community of early adopters of the synodal mindset! Let us know if you'd be interested in sharing in a Conversation in the Spirit with fellow PVP constituents here. Tell us how you'd like to experience better connections between yourself and other synod-minded folks here. Share with me your stories of connection through Conversations in the Spirit...we can share your graces and discoveries with others!

And don't forget our Spring fundraiser...a way to connect with us and invest in the early work to create a synodal Church! Donate here.

Grace abounds through our connections. I learned it again this week. And I am so very interested in connecting more deeply with you. Do reach out...the Spirit is calling.

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