I realized that I have an unconscious theme in my titles as of late: “Change is Always at Hand” and “Good is Always at Hand.” So now, I will add “New is Always at Hand.” In July, the Core Council learned that our Founder Rev. Mark Anthony Lord would be moving on from his role as Senior Minister. In preparation for Rev. Mark Anthony’s departure, an Interim Spiritual Council was formed of Joan Coletto, LSP, Kim Revere, LSP and myself.
Since that time the Core Council and Spiritual Council have listened and acted intentionally and prayerfully while leading our Community. It has been beautiful to witness and participate in. As part of our practice, Rev. Dr. Kathy Hearn was engaged to lead us through the transition.
If you are not familiar with Rev. Dr. Kathy Hearn, I encourage you to listen to last Sunday’s message on Spirit-Centered Leadership. She spent 10 years as the Community Spiritual Leader of the Centers for Spiritual Living. And she now serves as the Dean of the Centers for Spiritual Living School on Spiritual Leadership in San Diego, CA.
Her work with the Core Council and Spiritual Council culminated in a weekend workshop on Friday, February 13th and Saturday, February 14th. The weekend workshop included 31 Community Members that represented a diverse body of leaders, practitioners and laity. In preparing for the weekend, we were told that each participant would represent 10 voices from the Community. Our work was to stand on the high and holy ground of change and establish the newness we as a Community are seeking.
We spent much of the weekend exploring what’s working and what’s not working or not working as well as we would like it to at Bodhi. We came up with a robust list of 60 things that are working really well at Bodhi … wow, 60 things! We were proud. We then identified a list of 92 things that aren’t working as well as we would like them to at Bodhi. We were also proud.
“We came up with a robust list of 60 things that are working really well at Bodhi … wow, 60 things! We were proud. We then identified a list of 92 things that aren’t working as well as we would like them to at Bodhi. We were also proud.”
In walking through that process, it became very clear that the things that are not working as well as we would like them to are a collection of challenges we as a Community have created. As we know, Bodhi is no thing other than a collection of shared intentions and energy. The group took 100% responsibility for all of it. We then boiled down our key opportunities for growth and identified a Purpose for the newness we are seeking. That Purpose resulted in an inspired document that we now know as our Sacred Covenant.
The Sacred Covenant is accompanied by a Covenant Prayer to support it’s emergence. The Sacred Covenant supports all the work we have done up to this point and does not replace any of our existing guiding documents and intentions. It was breathtaking to see the Co-Creation Process so beautifully support that which we already have in place.
Please read the Sacred Covenant. Join us in a daily practice of reading and affirming the Covenant Prayer, for when we pray we are always doing the work in our own consciousness.
I hope that you will join us on Sunday, March 1st for our Community Potluck and Annual Meeting. The Community Potluck will begin immediately following service, and the Annual Meeting will begin promptly at 12:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary. Please bring a dish to share and join us in the newness of Bodhi. Your attention, energy, love and support is what enables our work of awakening people to their inherent power and purpose and revealing Oneness in service to the people of Chicago.
What we have created over the last 7 months has been exquisite. I look forward to being with you soon and sharing the many exciting developments within our Community.