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The In-Between Time

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How many of you exercise regularly? For those who do, I bet you can related to the in-between time within which health and fitness rests. You know what I get started, and remain pretty consistent with various workouts. You see some initial results yourself, then others start to notice some change. And then you are in the in-between time. Like the image above (created by AI by the way), you're walking along that dry land, but all you can see right now is more dry land. You cannot see that it leads to a new's just the drudgery of day-in-and-day out workouts. You cannot see that you are parting the sea. All you know is step-by-step, with no destination visible and a glance behind looks just like a look ahead.

Friends, that's where we are on the #synodjourney...the in-between time. And here's what I am beginning to see. We are going to be in this in-between time for a LONG time. It will take a lot of consistent effort to see even small changes, and it will take a lot of consistent effort over a long time to see lasting change. It's just like the fitness journey: most of it dwells in the in-between time. It is already happening and not yet complete. And to gain any ground or maintain that ground requires consistency: showing up and doing the work, even when we don't see results.

We are also in-between assemblies of the Synod on Synodality. The next assembly will convene on Wednesday 2 October 2024. As I write this, the deadline for US Diocese's to submit responses to the interim questions has passed (April 8, 2024). The Instrumentum laboris for the Second Session of the General Assembly is being prepared. Many small groups and organizations continue to host conversations in the Spirit, as they continue to practice this centerpiece of a synodal Church, and as they continue to listen to the Holy Spirit. Some on the journey are already showing up consistently, practicing the conversations in the Spirit and discernment in common, learning how to be synodal.

What about you? Are you on the #synodjourney... showing up consistently by learning, praying, encouraging participation, participating when and where you can, talking about synodality in your spheres of influence? Are you finding other synod-minded folks with whom to share these actions? Are you asking for additional synodal conversations to take place in your parish, family, organization, committee, or diocese?

I think the temptation before us is to wait for someone else to set the stage, do the inviting, embrace the concept. But synodality is like fitness: we each have to show up consistently and do the work. The synodal muscles are built this way. And the stronger we each get, the more we can push this rock uphill, until the time it reaches the summit and begins to roll down, gathering many others with its energy.

This is the in-between time. Synodality is already happening, but not yet as fully as it needs to be to become the way the Church is the Church in the third millennium. What it needs now is not just the priests and deacons to embrace it, not just the Bishops to do their part: it takes each of us, showing up consistently and doing the work. What's that work again, the work of the in-between time for right now?

  • Learn about synodality

  • Pray for the Holy Spirit's guidance

  • Practice connecting to the Spirit through Conversations in the Spirit

  • Connect to other like-minded synodal practitioners

  • Talk about synodality in your spheres of influence

  • Ask for more synodal gatherings and ask if current decisions are being made using synodal practices

  • And support the early adopters! You can support us during our Spring Fundraiser! Donate here!

What are you doing to build synodal muscles? Share with us so we can adopt similar practices and get in synodal shape together!

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