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October 18-20 201,9

THIS WEEKEND WAS A GATHERING OF CURSILLISTAS RATHER THAN CANDIDATES…

…to motivate and encourage Cursillistas to join in the work to breathe new life into the Colorado Episcopal Cursillo Ministry (ECM)

A summary from the Secretariat Lay Leader

Greetings friends!

I’m pleased to report that our Return to the Mountain weekend was spirit-filled, fun, insightful, and filled with love for Christ and one another.  17 of us prayed, sang, played and discussed issues about the Colorado Episcopal Cursillo Ministry, and about its future here in Colorado.

Thank you especially to Rev. Judi Sato and Missi Dolye for guiding us through the discussions of change…because clearly, we are already in the midst of it!  Cursillo here in Colorado is already different from what others do, (and even what WE have done in the past) and will continue to change!  And I believe I can say, based on our discussions and final vote, that we are ready for it – even eager!  We are ready for a ministry that builds relationship with Christ and shares with others!

We listed the most impactful parts of Cursillo for us, as being:

  • The Community – present and ongoing.
  • The Blessing we feel, as we serve and are served.
  • The presence of Christ.
  • Being loved; surrounded by love.
  • Living in the Spirit.
  • Letting go and letting God.
  • Welcoming.

These are the things that make our experience leave a mark with us. This is what we want to take in, hold and share with others! This is our core. This is what weekends should be built around.

Our Return to the Mountain weekend generated a statement of our “WHY”. Simon Senik has a great TED talk on starting with the WHY.  ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ss78LfY3nE )  Knowing and understanding our WHY enables us to move successfully forward. Sometimes we get caught up in the How or the What, and miss the point of the WHY! So we need to focus on the WHY, then the What and the How will follow. 

Our ministry’s WHY was developed as:

             TO DEEPEN OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST AND

                              TO  GO IN THE WAY OF LOVE.

This statement both resonates with us individually and corporately and fits into the Diocesean and national Episcopal church’s focus. We discussed using/sharing some of the symbols (like the Celtic shaped cross picture of the way of love shown below) to help unite us to the broader church in spirit and focus.  We can use this in our own way, perhaps adding our own words.

We believe strongly that a stumbling block to our thriving as  a ministry has been lack of clergy and Diocesan support. We felt we often were accepted but not embraced as part of the Diocese, and therefore clergy have not been a part of our secretariat for several years. And although Bishop Rob did attend a Grande Ultreya and closing Eucharist over the years, he did not embrace Cursillo, make room in the budget for support from the Diocese, or have the clergy encouraged to learn more about it or to be a part of it. We will be speaking to Bishop Kym as soon as possible to discuss our role in the Diocese and how we (and she) feel this ministry fits into the overall picture of the church in Colorado. 

In our moving forward, we also must be accessible and equitable. We will remove any real or perceived barriers in language, practice or principle that will interfere with our WHY.

Our hopes in moving forward were voiced as:

  • To be safe and open and inclusive for all folks
  • That we have good and open communication of what our ministry is about
  • That we be open to all, accessible to all, no barriers and/or “process hurdles”. (Sign up and go! Easy! Bring a friend!)
  • Eliminate terminology that is outdated or exclusionary. 
  • Clear communication of our mission and purpose (our WHY)
  • That we be a growing experience for self, church and the world
  • That we meet our mission to deepen our relationships with Christ
  • That we grow and increase our ministry.
  • That we are so successful that we can offer our support to others around the country
  • That we make an effort to bring in new/younger generation folks  

The Secretariat and Spiritual Directors will be working hard to address items that were too big to be decided in the brief weekend time. Sponsorship, secrets/terminology, using oral and experiential ways of communicating our message, 2 day weekend/3 day/both,  rules related barriers (meeting specific criteria or situation to attend?) expand our idea of what 4th day means and includes, LGBTQIA recognition, acceptance and inclusion, and finally the use of the term Cursillo in our title or tag line. 

We have stepped out in faith and booked a weekend for September 25, 26 and 27 in 2020.  We feel we will be ready to celebrate Christ and our ministry at that time!   Not that all work will be done by then, (is it ever?) but that we will be ready to share where we are and incorporate new ideas into a weekend.

How would you like to participate?  We have room on the Secretariat. We have room on committees which include: 1) Events (weekends)   2)4th day  3)Communication  4)Outreach   Please contact me at this email ( suerich9@comcast.net) or call and leave me a message (303) 522-8029.

So now, my friends…. the Secretariat would like some input from you!

The name Cursillo congers up so many stereotypes, some hurts, and yes, some love. It is our history and format, (but recently, even that format has been changing). If the name is a barrier to opening up ourselves and our ministry to share Christ’s love with everyone… to walk the way of love…. then we need to re-think using the name.  We could keep Cursillo in part of a tag line? We could eliminate it all together? What do you think? What else could we name ourselves. Do you have ideas?  The Diocese of Olympia used, “Come and See, Go and Tell” .What shall we call this new creation we are feeling rise up?  Let the spirit lead you and send your ideas to me!  

For now, walk in the way of love, and may your day be blessed! 

Sue Richardson

Lay Director

Colorado Secretariat