Structural Change Working Group Report
Submitted by Margaret Roylance
Members of the Structural Change Working Group are
working to prepare the Structural Change Network (SCN)
for its official launch on September 8th. We are adding
the names of VOTF members who have asked to join. More
than 50 people have now been invited to the SCN website,
with a week left until the launch date.
The network will be launched with four focused topics
for discussion - support for pastoral councils, finance
councils and safety committees, and lay involvement
in pastoral selection. We will also request that SCN
members share information about dialogue with their
bishops (whether successful or not). Although it is
the right and responsibility of local VOTF affiliates
to conduct dialogue with their own diocesan bishop,
it is also important that VOTF stay aware of these contacts
on a national basis, and share with each other what
works and what doesn't.
In addition, when we announced the SCN launch, we invited
suggestions for additional topics. We have had several
very interesting topic ideas, including finding ways
to enhance involvement of lay people in seminary education,
identifying effective ways of counteracting the undue
influence of wealthy lay groups in our faith communities,
and examining the root causes of the scandal of clerical
sexual abuse. We will add some of these topics as additional
threads in the SCN, if there is interest in discussing
them once the network is formally under way.
Thanks again to all VOTF members who have helped in
the development of the SCN and to all those who have
joined with us in the network. As we move into the future,
the news of the current scandal will begin to pale,
and there will be a great temptation to relax and fall
back into our old habits of deference and passivity.
We must persevere in our efforts to use our gifts for
the good of our Church. Participation in the SCN is
one way to keep the flame of renewal alive.
Voice of Renewal Working
Submitted by Anne Southwood and Jan Leary
"One of the VOR Goals is 'to empower one another
to revitalize our collegial role in the Church, in the
Spirit of Vatican II.'"
The VOTF Lay Education Working Group, Voice of Renewal
(VOR), celebrated our year and a half anniversary in
August with a Core Group potluck in Plymouth, MA and
planned two pre-Fall gatherings, on August 28 and September
9. These meetings were planned to "kick off" VOR's participation
in the "Second Tuesday" monthly meetings for Working
Groups meeting at St. John's, Wellesley, MA.
Our VOR /Lay Education meetings are open to VOTF members
interested in adult education for all laity and provide
an opportunity to meet members who attended our workshops
at the Boston-area June 7 Conference.
Those who attended the August 28 meeting have ties
to the Paulist Center, Glastonbury Abbey, and parishes
in Newburyport, Duxbury, Hingham, Dorchester, Wayland,
and Dedham. We found much common ground in focusing
on educational endeavors toward fostering active lay
involvement in our Church.
Plans have emerged from workshops and meetings to develop
a communication task force or "Central Information Network"
(CIN). Those involved with this endeavor will focus
on supplementing / developing a "Community Bulletin
Board" on our VOR webpage providing resources for lay
Please contact JanVOTF@aol.com
for more information and to join our Lay Education Group
on the second Tuesday of each month. Also, interested
readers from out of state should ask how they might
"join us" via our ListServ.
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