The day began with coffee. We then gathered around a table together for an opening prayer and Mthr Leah and Fr Simon introduced themselves and played out how wemight spend our time together.
Mthr Leah then explained one of the core practises of the Sodality - Winnowing - which is a two fold process of listening: firstly to Scripture using Lectio Divina (the opportunity to prayerfully listen deeply to a passage of scripture whilst being attentive to what God may be saying through it to us in our context); secondly to prayerfully listen to each other using a form of Appreciative Enquiry (each person being given a fixed period of time to bring an issue which is then shared and other members of the small group then can ask questions of clarification but be non-directive.)
Having listened to one of the Sodality’s core practises, we broke into small groups (ideally triplets) to try Winnowing out for ourselves. We allowed just over an hour for this, to allow the deep listening required to happen and for each triplet member to bring something to their group. We broke for coffee and then reflected back on how Winnowing felt. The general feeling was very positive. Some had used both Lectio Divina and/or Appreciative Enquiry in other contexts.
+Paul then shared with us why the church needed Sodalities, perhaps especially at the moment as we are called to burn brightly with the Light of Christ in a world that seems increasingly dark. We then broke to worship together and moved over to Coventry Cathedral where Mthr Kathryn Fleming presided at their midweek Mass which we had been invited to attend. It was deeply moving to worship at the feet of Graham Sutherland’s tapestry which fills the east end of the building.
After a lunch break, Mthr Leah and Fr Simon explained a little more about our call with Fr Eddie to form a Sodality. Sodality comes from the Latin root, Sodalis. This can be translated comrade or other words, all of which suggest closeness and active partnership: companion, associate, mate, crony, accomplice, conspirator, are all appropriate. It infers a committed and significant sense of belonging to one another around a shared task or purpose. It is the right term to describe the deep sense of calling to togetherness that the three founding members have felt to each other and the discerned charisms for renewing the local church which are about the church being:
Intentional - Christ Centred discerning, listening and acting.
Missional - Being a part of God's Mission, living numerical and spiritual growth.
Expectanct - Believing God intervenes and speaks supernaturally.
The day closed with further discussions about ways forward for those gathered as Enquirers. It became abundantly clear that those present felt called to walking forward together, seeking the discernment and leading of God in their own involvement with the Sodality in the days, weeks and months ahead.