San Diego - We received the "Sharing the Sojourn" packet and phoned another person on the contact list. We met in a coffee shop to share some thoughts on what we were looking for in a community, and then divided up the remaining San Diego County names on the list and called each person to set the first meeting.
We discovered that one of the members had already sent letters and made phone calls to others some months before, but things hadn't quite fallen into place. But with the seed planted by those earlier efforts, the next attempt went better. All who were reached attended a potluck, an excellent response given everyone's hectic schedules (an obstacle no doubt familiar to others).
Gathering for food in a relaxed, informal setting helped develop an atmosphere engendering trust, friendship, and openness to new directions, new people, and new challenges. The night was a spirit-filled one. We talked about our backgrounds, why we were seeking community, and what we hoped to gain through it. We made plans for the next gathering to bring music for celebration and books, videos, or items for sharing on the issues and work that concern us. We also decided to take turns relating our spiritual journeys to each other.
That was in June, three meetings ago. The community has since grown from nine members to 13, meetings from monthly to bimonthly. Members work in such diverse areas as immigrant rights, health care, and labor, environmental, and peace activism. All share the common concern of putting our faith into action. With these gospel ties, we find that every one of us has something to contribute to and draw from the community.
The spiritual journey reflections offered at each meeting have greatly accelerated our getting to know one another, as do the scriptural reflections on particular subjects. These are led by a different person each time and draw upon Bible, music, and other materials.