Timing of the Gathering
The event in Melbourne is timed to conclude on the Feast Day of Edmund Rice – 5th of May. Thursday the 3rd will begin at 9:30am; the other two days will begin at 9:00am. Thursday and Friday will conclude at around 4:30pm; Saturday will conclude with a sit-down meal in the evening.
In order to maximize the participation of people in the Gathering, we have made comment last month about the webcasting and recording of parts of the Gathering for people to access. We are also now allowing for flexible attendance; that is, people can come for one, two, or three days, depending on their availability. Completion of an Expression of Interest Form is required, no matter how many days you intend to be present. Catering requirements make it necessary for people to nominate in advance the days they will be in attendance. Indication of specific days of attendance will be required on a Personal Information Sheet that will sent to those who are invited to attend.
Those present for the whole time will need to extend the usual Eddie Rice hallmark of welcome and hospitality to those moving in and out of the ’permanent’ community that is gathered. Those coming for shorter times will need to do ‘the work’ needed to get a sense of what has been happening and where the group is at. This semi-permeable, fluid, and flexible arrangement is a characteristic of the type of organic, emerging, yet connected Movement we are in the process of co-creating.
An Additional Event
There will be the possibility for a conversation with Hugh O’Neill (Congregational Leader) and Philip Pinto (Gathering Listener) at St Joseph’s Flexi Learning Centre, Melbourne, on the Friday evening. This will enable those who wish to gain some insight into the global realities of the Edmund Rice Movement an opportunity to dialogue around this.
The Brothers will be gathering with Philip Pinto as a ‘Messenger’ from the Melbourne Gathering in each of Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, and finally Melbourne over the two weeks following the Gathering in Melbourne. Each Region, through the Cluster Leaders, is at liberty to plan and hold its own style of event – lunch, evening, meal, drinks, etc. They are also at liberty to decide, in consultation with the local Brothers, who is invited to attend.
Other groups in each Region are free to invite Philip to have a conversation with them if they would like this to happen. Please work through the local Cluster Leader to arrange this so that Philip has plenty of notice and that no more than one additional event is held – so that Philip is not over-committed.
The Flow of the Gathering
The Animator for the Treacy 2018 Gathering in Melbourne (3-5 May) is Debbie Asberry. She has recently written the following about how she sees the three days unfolding to provide people with a little more understanding of the nature of what will be happening:
I think a 3-fold movement that embodies the development of networks as described by Peter Plastrik, Madeleine Taylor and John Cleveland in Harnessing the Power of Networks for Social Impact: Connecting to Change the World. (Island Press 2014) would be a helpful frame. The authors talk about the 3 different types of networks: Connectivity, Alignment and Production (co-creation).
As I am coming to understand the ‘movement’ of connecting across diverse groups and stakeholders to continue to promote the charism of Edmund Rice, I am thinking that ultimately you are ‘connecting’ diverse people and groups of people in order to ‘align’ around a common theme/goal/longing/call to continue to promote the vision and charism of Edmund Rice, and together ‘produce/co-create’ innovative responses to the needs of the signs of the times. So, we need to spend time and provide processes to:
Allow people to connect, share their stories and create a sense of community among themselves
Explore ways in which they might align in common themes, goals, ministries, and vision for the future
Determine ways in which groups might create or deepen existing ‘networks’ in response to common desires in light of the signs of the times and needs of the world (or your individual corners of the world).
So, the movement of the 3 days is one of C(connecting), A (aligning) and C (co-creating)---CAC. This is all very organic and emergent in design, but we have a framework that can ‘hold’ the work and keep us focused enough. (Connecting, Aligning, Co-Creating)---three movements. The three movements are themselves dynamic, interdependent and integrative.
All this will be sprinkled with contemplative pauses, prayer and reflection, ‘going on the balcony’ in order to see the whole and not just the disparate parts.
This approach is reminiscent of what Eileen Connolly used to say at the beginning of the Workshops run by her and her husband Joe: “You are the content of this workshop!”
Ways to be included
The planning Committee is currently exploring ways that will enable more people to ‘participate’, even from a distance. We have received some sponsorship that will enable us to webcast (stream live) and to podcast (record for later viewing) major parts of the gathering. In this way, more people will be able to tap into significant parts of what is happening in Melbourne at their convenience. We will provide more details about how these features can be accessed at a later time closer to the gathering. People will need a computer and access to the internet as a minimum.
We gather as a representative group of the Edmund Rice Movement in Oceania at this time in our history to:
- commemorate the arrival in Melbourne 150 years ago of four pioneer Christian Brothers;
- acknowledge the inheritance we have received from them and from all those who have followed in Edmund Rice ministry of any kind;
- share our passion for this great work and to dream a future we can create together that will honour this inheritance in new, creative and practical ways.
The Committee, working with our three guests, has been committed to conversation, engagement, and dialogue in the lead up to this gathering with these elements being part of the ongoing journey within the gathering itself, and beyond.
Beyond the necessary planning for a formal opening and closing of the Gathering, the content of our time together will be shaped by the sharing of experiences, hopes, fears, and dreams of the participants.
If you feel that you have a demonstrable passion for the Edmund Rice charism and want to be part of this watershed gathering, then request an Expression of Interest form
visit the Facebook page to download the form: https://www.facebook.com/shajow/.