Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Parish Social Ministry Retreat

Christine Smith, our dear friend from Catholic Charities, once again came to Lewiston to help our PSM team get focused and re-energized.  Mary Lou communicated for weeks with Christine about the retreat, our agenda, and goals for the coming year.

Christine began the retreat by giving us a small piece of paper with words from scripture.  The words all ran together and we tried, as a group, to pray these words, but discovered it was difficult to do because there were so spaces, no breaks, no chance to catch a breath.

We learned that, if we are determined to do God's work, we need to find space, take a break, and spend some contemplative time in prayer.  She led us through lectio divina and asked us to reveal a spiritual moment that changed our thinking and propelled us into action or a different way of looking at things.  I shared my experience at Circles, learning about the challenges of people in poverty, and being inspired by those graduating in the Getting Ahead in a Just Getting By World class.  Most graduates have a dream that includes a job with a living wage, enough food to eat, health insurance, a dependable car, affordable housing, and supportive friends.  Their stories made me realize I've taken those things for granted and never personally experienced a lack of things they only dreamed about.

Christine helped us set goals and timelines for completion.  We ended the day blessing each other's hands and asking God's blessings on our work.  But not before we shared soup and bread with Father Brad Neely and Monsignor Andy Schumacher.  Thank you Christine for getting our group back on track.

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