“A new way to look at things – positively energizing!”

Vicki Perfect
Blog by Associate Vicki Perfect, OPA

“WOW!” jumped right off the page as one participant described how the program Unfolding a Future Hope, Celebrating YOU and the Community of Northeast Ohio Associates had shaped her experience.

The day started with an opening prayer drawing on Don Goergen’s “The Pillars Revisited: A Fresh Look at Dominican Spirituality” that quietly set the collective spirit of all in the room open and ready to celebrate The Gift of Friendship, The Spirit of Integration, The Love of Truth and The Grace of Freedom. The Spirit did not disappoint.

“It was significant for me to learn how groups outside the Elms came into the fold.” said one Workshop Participant.

Associate Conni Dubick, OPA, welcomed the Associates and together with Sr. Amy McFrederick, OP, highlighted both the six year evolution of the Dominican Associates of Peace and the larger more expansive movement of the Holy Spirit’s charism across other religious orders.

“A new way to look at things – positively energizing” said one Workshop Participant.

assoc-mtng-nov15Fr. Norm Douglas, Executive Director of Heart to Heart Communications and Associate Larry Vuillemin, OPA, Heart to Heart co-founder, took the stage to introduce Appreciative Inquiry as an alternative means of approaching personal and community growth with an emphasis on the positive (What works) and less on the negative (What does not. Using the first two stages of Appreciative Inquiry – Discover and Dreaming).They led us in exercises that demonstrated how to reframe/expand one’s mental model by invoking stories to discover values and reflective one on one interviewing to dream and discern opportunity. Here are some quotes from the workshop participants.

“Stories are significant and should be shared.”

“It was significant to experience how diversely – but definitely – we share the Dominican Charism and our enthusiasm for it. HOPE!”

Celebrating the community of Associates in Northeast Ohio was made possible by the representation of Sisters and Associates from each of our NEO groups who helped expand a “community presence” beyond what some of us in the room had experienced to date. The Dominican charism was palpable and for those of you unable to attend you were still present with us in that Spirit.

“This should continue…would like to experience the community with even more in attendance; would like to finish the Appreciative Inquiry Process (Dream, Design, Deliver); can see how this will whole process will better equip us to promote our charism” – Several Workshop Participants

Our goal is to follow up this workshop with another in the early 2016. You will be hearing more specifics about what was learned in this workshop in other Associate blogs. As the planning committee unfolds, we will bring you news of the next scheduled event.

Meanwhile here are some last words from the participants:

“Great lunch!”

“Great props!”

“Great growth day!”

“Being with others who share the Dominican charism – GREAT!”

View more photos. 

Posted in Associate Blog

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