In a Journey of Accompaniment & Service to Emerging Leaders

Getting from “me” to “we”

Written byManuel Padilla

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.


3 Replies
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Brent Blackwell

2015-02-20 16:53:19
Thank you for your call to humble service. Admitting that not a single one of us who gathers has “The Answer” is absolutely the first step towards a community gathering to ask for advice and guidance. It is also necessary to believe and represent that not one person’s experiences, age, or understanding elevates them over any one else’s experiences or thoughts. Only as individuals with multiple lenses of interpretations and understanding, based upon our personal experiences, can we even begin to have this meaningful dialogue. I believe that where we move from “me” to “we” is not in our understanding, insights, solutions, or answers; but, the movement to “we” exists in our passion and dreams. Only when all individuals accept a similar goal can the “we” be established and amendments and improvements be made. When such commonalities are highlighted, we become one body and one voice capable of so much more than as a separated or divided people. Any thoughts? :)
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Brittany Absher

2015-02-04 21:37:46
One of the most influential speakers on "vulnerability" for me is Brené Brown, and she points out that vulnerability and shame are often paired. She says that shame is the voice that speaks when we lift our hand to open the door of opportunity, the voice that tells us we can't or shouldn't do what we are about to try to do, that we're better off not trying. Shame often accompanies vulnerability in my mind because I'm vulnerable when I'm stepping out to do something great, or as this post says, something risky (which are almost always tied together). It's important to recognize that there will be voices of shame playing in each one of our heads as we talk about that which makes us vulnerable so that we can approach one another tenderly at La Consulta. Brené also points out that shame cannot live when it is exposed to light--when it is shared. My hope is that in from moving from "me" to "we," we can approach one another tenderly, knowing that with dreams often come places of hurt. However, I pray that we may also become a community that brings those pains to light to move toward healing.
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Joel Hortiales

2015-01-19 02:30:02
I least to me, to move from "me" to "we" I want to listen, to be and let it be. That means I will go to the Consultation to sitdown in conversation to listen myself and others, to share how I am and think and accept how people are and think, even our diferences, dream together to stand and work with a common goal. Looking to meet you, blessings!