February 2004

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Have you ever wondered, "How did I wind up here?" While you may have had this thought at a party you didn’t really want to attend, or when you took a wrong turn in an unfamiliar city, sometimes we can also take a look at our lives and ask the same question. It can be a question of "Where did I go wrong?" or recognition of "Wow, look what God did!"

This month, I invite you to reflect on how you got "here" to the SFO. At our February meeting (back at our usual downtown church location), we will inaugurate a new meeting format, inspired by your comments and suggestions:

Snacks and socializing
Morning Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours
Reading from the Rule and a related Scripture passage, followed by discussion
Activity related to the theme suggested by the Rule and Scripture passages

The February activity will be sharing of the varied ways in which we were all called to the SFO. Several council members will be prepared to share their stories, but we’re hoping that many of you will be ready and willing to tell how you "wound up" here. It’s good to see that God works in many ordinary circumstances of our lives…and once in a while in an extraordinary way, just to liven things up.

In the coming months, we will be using the book Called to Build a More Fraternal and Evangelical World by Fr. Benet as a resource for our meeting preparation. For each article of the Rule, this book contains a relevant passage from the Gospels, the Old and New Testaments, the Psalms, the writings of Francis and Clare, other Franciscan writings, Vatican II documents, a papal statement, and a liturgical prayer, all based on a theme found in that article of the Rule. Article 1’s theme is Call of the Spirit to Be Evangelized and to Evangelize - very appropriate for the work we are undertaking this year! In March we will move on to the articles of the Rule in Chapter II, "The Way of Life," starting with Article 4.

In preparation for our meeting this month, I ask you to spend some quiet time reflecting on Article 1 of the Rule and on Luke 4:1, 14-21. Our pre-meeting meditations will form the basis for our discussion and faith sharing of these readings at the meeting –we will not spend time in individual reflection during the meeting but will move straight from reading to discussion/faith sharing.

I was excited by the enthusiasm expressed at the January meeting and look forward to what February’s meeting will bring! Mostly, I look forward to it bringing us all together once again. See you then.

Peace and good, Vickie