Mercy Associates Leadership Group meets in Sydney
Representatives from five Mercy Associates groups, along with the three part-time staff and Mission Integration Director recently spent two days together, discussing the progress and challenges of the Mercy Associates movement.
The Mercy Associate representatives were Anne O’Connell (Ballarat), Annette Rowe (Gladstone), Joan Neal (Townsville), Grace Soley (Toronto) and Helen Fowler (Young). Network Facilitators Christine Convery (NSW) and Anne Pate (VIC) were present, as was Carmel Ross (Executive Officer).
Four Institute Leadership Team members (Eveline Crotty RSM, Gaye Lennon RSM, Maureen Sexton RSM and Elizabeth Moloney RSM) joined the group for dinner on Friday evening, 28 February at the McAuley Centre, Lewisham.
Discussions over the weekend covered a broad range of topics. Updates were provided on each group; the importance of prayer as a ministry of Mercy Associates was acknowledged; and procedures for establishing new groups were considered. Additional to this, the lower age limit for becoming a Mercy Associate; the ‘life cycle’ of groups; and the challenges facing groups where Associates are ageing and the group no longer wants to meet formally were addressed. The recent introduction of the first on-line Mercy Associates group was discussed – this group has two people experiencing the formation process now and provides an option for Mercy Associates living remotely from any of the existing groups.
Existing key resources, the Formation Resource and Administrative Handbook, were reviewed and some amendments will be recommended in due course to the ILT. The newly developed self-paced manual for Safeguarding training was also reviewed, and this will be ready to be published imminently. This resource is likely to be adapted for use by other ministries where staff or volunteers were unable to attend face-to-face seminars in 2019.
Ellen Geraghty provided input of the work of the Mission Integration team, of which Mercy Associates forms a part.
The Mercy Associate Leadership group meets annually, so a great deal of discussion is packed into each meeting. Despite the alarmingly long agenda, our discussions were sprinkled liberally with laughter, inspired by everything from the quirks of human nature as they play out in the Mercy Associates groups through to a Powerpoint presentation by Anne on Daisy’s first year of life (adored Labrador).
The wisdom of the Mercy Associate representatives was of immense benefit to the quality of discussions, with workable solutions developed to respond to the opportunities and challenges facing the ISMAPNG Mercy Associates movement.
Enquiries to Carmel Ross, firstname.lastname@example.org