November Issue of Reflections and Connections
The November 2021 issue of Reflections & Connections is now available online for your viewing.
In this issue, we take a look at the values of the associate community, explore actions we can take to care for Earth, and offer the service of prayer.
As we go further into the autumn season, nature is inviting us to reflect on the reality of change. Crops are being harvested, larders are being filled, and fields are going fallow in order to regenerate for spring planting. The geese and other birds are signaling their migratory journeys through their cries and overhead flight patterns, aware that they must travel to other familiar places for a new season. Trees are going into a bright and colorful display before losing their canopies; their empty branches soon becoming a stark reminder of the cycle of life. Likewise, many of the animals are finding places where they can shelter or hibernate to continue their life cycles. All these movements in nature involve a letting go to continue the annual rhythms of death or dormancy in order to prepare for new life.
Seasons of change are also in the air for CSA. The congregation is in preparation for our June 2022 General Chapter. At this gathering, the community sets direction for the next four years and elects a leadership team to guide our movement into the future. The theme chosen for our chapter planning is, “Together, embracing a transformative journey.” This theme provides the needed space for flexibility as each sister opens herself to all the ways that entice CSA to respond to the realities and needs of the times. Those needs and realities include concerns ranging from the most mundane to the most profound. In fact, mundane and profound are so intertwined in the concerns arising in our society and culture that there is really no distinction. No need, however small, can be disregarded as irrelevant to the Gospel call. There is nothing that escapes the mandate to love one another and all of creation as I have loved you. (See John 13:34)
I would like to close with a stanza from the prayer CSA has embraced as we open ourselves to become vulnerable to all that lies ahead:
God of all the many ways to You,
Together, we move through valleys of darkness into ever-evolving new Life.
Gentle Spirit, give us courage and strength to be transformed for the world.
In the peace and love of Christ,
Sister Jean Steffes, CSA