We hunger for a different kind of sacred time and space together, one in which this generation can engage in risky conversations about visioning through creative dialogue. But in order to do this, we need to think and act more as “we” and less as “me.” So, the risky conversation begins as each of us is invited to become vulnerable, transparent to all of us. Vulnerability is not a part of the way culture and society form us; but it is something that Christ modeled on both the cross and the way. At this moment in time, he gestures for us to follow.
The verb “consult” means “to call together.” A consultation is a moment in which a community gathers to ask for advice or seeks guidance from someone. Who is consulting? In this case, it’s the National Plan for Hispanic and Latino Ministry, of which we all are members. With whom are we consulting? We seek the advice of the Millennial Generation currently veiled within and beyond our church and its Hispanic and Latino communities. They are a generation already living in the future for which our church desperately longs, but still cannot see.
The only way to become Christ’s body in the future is to be now what we want the world to become. So, the first thing to admit among ourselves is that no one of us has all the answers that we’ll gather to seek, because those answers must be forged in the crucible of community. The moment we believe that we, or anyone, has all the answers, we become followers of an expert and consumers of right thinking, rather than a community a disciples. In community, each voice carries equal weight, and therefore must be heard. Some special friends will come to share with us what they have learned about the emerging church and society; but such facts in themselves are like jigsaw puzzle pieces. They must be added to the pieces that each of us brings, and then assembled around the common table before a beautiful picture can appear. Only through communal thinking, praying and acting, does a new vision become reality.
Meanwhile, we may just chance upon a rare opportunity to encounter God’s spirit stirring among us, offering us a glimpse of God’s preferred future – the reino de Dios – and beckoning us to walk together toward it. This is our prayer. The time has come for the Millennial Generation to “realizar” its leadership. This is the aspiration of the team setting the table for the community that will assemble at Duke. Taking care of the details for such an event is a labor of love whose purpose is to free the consultation participants to seize upon a holy moment.
Through this Friday blog and the eight that will follow it, our aim is to help this community tone up its spiritual muscles for centering, listening, dreaming, analyzing and dialoguing. So, what are our aspirations for this assembly? What will it take from each of us in order to go from 175 individuals to one communal vision and a handful of first steps that we can all take? We invite your responses to each other.