There is not much more that really explains my experience of the conference but ‘awesome!’ The reality that a network of lay ecclesial ministers across Canada is starting up and just beginning is truly amazing. The conference was completely bilingual (lots of fervent searching for the translator mechanism when they switched) which in itself is amazing when there are over 100 people present.
I was able to get a greater picture of the development of lay ministry across Canada in different diocese, and it feels dually shaming and encouraging to see what’s going on. The support of lay ministers and lay ministry in Quebec is so much further developed than than so many of the English-speaking diocese (though not all), it’s truly stunning.
It was also encouraging to encounter Richard McCord, who works for the NCCB as the executive director of three committees: the Committee on Laity, Committee on Marriage and Family, and Committee on Women in Society and in the Church who attended the whole conference. He had along with him another person from his staff (I believe), but I never met her. His committee on the Laity is, at this moment, specifically working on a document concerning Lay Ecclesial Ministry, and he was excited to see what was happening in Canada through this conference.
Anyways, I think it’ll take awhile before I come down from this high. Ottawa was a nice city. Did a lot of walking, got sunburnt, did more walking, spent way too much money on going out for food, walked more, and walked back to Ottawa U. That was it, really. I enjoyed seeing the place, though I didn’t get a chance to venture much further than the Market and the Parliament buildings. It was nice, though.
May you feel the Spirit’s movement and may she guide you upon your journey always.