17-19 July saw the whole Leadership Team of the Cenacolo Community come together for its annual summer weekend of prayer, discernment and fellowship.
It is a weekend that we have been having for many years now, and it serves the important function of allowing the Leadership Team to stop, take stock, listen to the Community members and to God and take action in prayer. This year’s weekend marked the start of the final year of our three-year cycle of commitment; which means that this time next year, the Leadership Team will be going through a major and thorough process of discernment, seeking God’s direction for the Community.
This weekend was preceded by a time of feedback which we carried out as a Community – in which the Community members (divided into small groups of around 20 persons, and led by two Leadership Team members) explored, discussed and gave feedback in a structured manner on the strengths and areas of growth that they see within the Community; the challenges they can see coming upon us; and the opportunities they see this Community as being offered to take up. This feedback was collated and discussed at length during the Leadership Team weekend.
Some interesting issues were highlighted – the powerful times of praise and worship during our Community meetings were identified as the top strength, together with the teachings and instruction which we receive in our Community; areas like the increasing numbers of members as well as some practical matters like the commitment to cleaning our huge meeting place were listed as areas we need to tackle and face better…both of these are issues which the Leadership Team has taken upon itself to discuss and deal with immediately. The main challenge that was highlighted is that of living as lay, practicing Catholics within an increasingly secularized and relativist society – both as individuals and as a body of believers. This in itself seems to be closely linked to the main opportunity our Community members identified – namely the opportunity to reach out more actively to people around us and to become better equipped to stand firm in truth and love.
We also had some very powerful times of worship before the Lord where He ministered to the depths of our spirits, renewing us and drawing us closer to His heart. It was a time where we re-committed ourselves to His calling and to serving His people through the ministry He has entrusted in our hands. Being together as a team during this summer weekend always serves to help us catch up with each other, spend time in fellowship and prayer, minister to each other and receive a renewed anointing as leaders – a special time which bears fruit in our lives and in our work for the Lord.