For four jam-packed days, the MCCW board of directors and the Forum planning team gathered in San Antonio to work, pray, and play. This annual meeting is essential to keeping the “business” of MCCW running, but what exactly happens at these gatherings? Here are some highlights from our meeting Oct. 3 – 6.
Work…On Friday and Saturday, the board and the Forum team participated in six working sessions including Forum working groups, a Forum team meeting, a presentation on potential sites for Forum 2022 (yes – that is already in the works and we are so excited!), a formal board meeting, an after-action review of regional retreats, and a planning session for continuity, transition and discernment at Forum 2020. Phew!
If that wasn’t enough, our team did three site visits — touring and planning down to the tiniest details at the two beautiful churches we will visit during Forum and touring all of the facilities we will use in the hotel during Forum.
And the work bleeds over into our downtime together — members of the group gathered in hotel rooms, on walks along the beautiful Riverwalk, or in the many cozy seating areas throughout our Forum hotel to do the work they normally do via email or phone calls, face-to-face. PJ working time is a thing — after dinner, the group gets comfy, gathers in our meeting room or in one hotel room and gets back to work for discussions covering many aspects of MCCW.
Pray…Our time together is never without opportunities for prayer and worship. Our team attended mass in both churches we will visit during Forum, enjoyed reflections offered by two teams of board and Forum team members and prayed the chaplet of Divine Mercy in the middle of a meeting when the church bells from St. Joseph’s reminded us it was 3 p.m. Each member of our team also offered personal prayers for a special prayer sister during the weekend. And a hardy few rose early each morning to participate in active morning prayer (yep, that would be a high-intensity workout set to the rosary which you will have the option of doing during Forum, too!)
Play…One of the most valuable aspects of our time together is the downtime when we eat meals together, share rooms, and get to know one another better. The members of the MCCW board of directors, unless stationed together, only see one another about once a year so the annual meeting is an important time for team building. And some of the most fruitful work seems to get done while gathered in one hotel room after hours or while enjoying a meal together. This year we even sent the group on a scavenger hunt to find all the things you will need during Forum (Taco ‘bout Jesus t-shirt, anyone?)