Not since Vatican II has there been a groundswell of bishops willing to respond to the rumblings of the Spirit among the people. Relying on the bishops for initiative is like waiting for Godot. We need more initiative from the grass roots.
The American Catholic Council is organizing such an initiative to give voice to rumblings of the Spirit among the people, picking up on its 2011 conference in Detroit. The first step is to get really good at listening in small groups. Not dialogue as much as listening to one another. It isn’t a conference but a “working weekend” to learn listening skills well enough as a foundation to practice the art of “listening circles” and return home to put them into practice.
The output of this communal discernment is not consensus on only one view but clarity on a diversity of views, respecting the different voices of the same Spirit. From such respectful honesty and clarity will hopefully emerge a way of being church that is becoming to the People of God, and is a step closer to the reign of God that Jesus preached.
This event offers to be an exciting time for those willing to build church from the bottom up, learn communal discernment techniques, return home to put them into practice in your own community, and report to the whole on what you are doing and how it is working. The Innovative Church website www.innovativechurch.org will capture all national actions as a learning tool with candid stories exercising our potential.
The ACC invites you to register now: www.ThePeoplesSynod.org. Please pass this message on to your own circles and post this website on your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram sites.
As you can imagine, this is an expensive undertaking. If you cannot attend but support the concept of the people taking the initiative to reform our Church, your donations will go to the American Catholic Council to help launch this event.