The work to build the kingdom of God continues,
It helps, now and then, to step back and take the long view…
—Bishop Ken Untener
April was a very busy month that accentuated the period of transition that Maryknoll Lay Missioners is currently experiencing. During our board meeting (April 20-22) and during the annual virtual Mission Assembly (April 24-28), it was timely to be reminded of the “long view.”
These important gatherings helped me to consider with thanksgiving all that has been going well, and to be grateful for those who passionately share in the mission of Maryknoll Lay Missioners. As we paused to reflect upon the challenges of leadership transition, missioner recruitment, fiscal sustainability and upon the complexity of the times we live in, I also recognized a renewed commitment to mission, to one another, and to putting faith into action among staff, board and missioners alike. “Now” is an open moment for change.
This encourages me to say: Let us embrace the opportunities, which lie before us, to cooperate, to co-create and to embody together the Spirit’s movement through our ministries and our lives.
Maryknoll is blessed to “see” the kingdom of God already in our midst — in the migrants who trust completely in God’s providence for safety, food and shelter; in the disabled children Maryknoll lay missioners minister with in Cambodia, Tanzania and Bolivia, who rejoice in the ordinary miracles of loving relationships; or in the prisoners and others whose lives are transformed through restorative justice.
Although there are many things beyond our control, we have the three things that do not pass away: faith, hope and love.
Most of all, as Pentecost approaches, I am confident that the Holy Spirit is with us always and is guiding Maryknoll Lay Missioners through the day-to-day situations that, in fact, can change the world.
Internally, we continue to learn from the RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) decision-making tool, so that we may proceed together into the future; we shall identify the most appropriate leadership model to live by, so that we can better witness to mutuality and service; and as a community, Maryknoll Lay Missioners is working to address financial sustainability that reflects our values.
Externally, we are responding prophetically with active nonviolence and anti-racism, as we continue to grow in what this means worldwide; and we shall forge a pathway to inclusivity in our membership so that many others may join us in mission throughout the world.
This is an open moment. The times call for the ongoing courageous response of the Maryknoll lay missioners community. This period may be short or it may be long. It is important to proceed with patience, perseverance and trust in God as we live into the evolving story of Maryknoll Lay Missioners.