CONEO of NORTHEAST OHIO
November 12, 2016
St. Mathew’s Episcopal Church, Brecksville, OH
Mike Davault Jackie Fabian Chris Grostic, Coordinator Marilyn Mack Nancy Moran Suzanne Sweeney Juanita Vargo
Chris Grostic, Coordinator, opened the meeting @ 9:35 a.m. after prayer.
Silent Saturday Retreat Report:
Jackie Fabian reported that 25 people attended the retreat on October 29th @ St. Rita Parish, Solon, OH.
Participant feedback was very positive. The team consensus was that it was one of the best retreat days that has occurred.
Jackie stated that Josefina Fernandez had reported to her that St. Basil in Brecksville would be interested in doing the next Silent Saturday in January.
Chris Grostic believed that it was time to release again the Theological Principles of CONEO. It lists the limitations set by the International Contemplative Outreach on our ministry We must also be aware of our own limitations: the number of team members available to do any expansion. We are already limited by the shortage of volunteers available to do retreats, etc.
Every CONEO group has its own personality based on their leadership and they are at liberty to include in their meetings anything that will enrich the group to fill the goals of contemplative prayer.
Appreciation Luncheon & Awards
The Appreciation Luncheon on November 6th was very successful due to the careful planning of Josefina Fernandez and the support of Chris and Steve Gotch. Thank you notes will be sent to Chris and Steve for the use of their facilities and the fine food selection.
Communication to Prayer Groups:
Mike Devault will be going on vacation until February. Before he leaves he will send out one more e-mail communication to the prayer groups. Suzanne Sweeney volunteered to take over his library duties until he returns, including keeping track of the sales. He has developed a list of 10 books to be recommended to new prayer group members.
Mike intends to visit the Epiphany Episcopal Church, Euclid before he leaves. They have a large ecumenical gathering each year. Mike has already visited the prayer groups at: St. Rita, St. Mary of the Assumption and St. Paul in Canton.
Chris Grostic advised that Brian Smith, our Communications Coordinator, reported that we had e-mail issues in our last mailing. We are transitioning to a new system and some addresses did not transfer over. There are 600 on our list, but 180 were listed as unsubscribed and some team members did not receive the communications. We will work on this to clear up the problems before the next meeting.
Mike Devault advised he is sending a final prayer group and team member listing. Members should check their own e-mail addresses to make sure they are correct.
LEADERSHIP SYSTEM of TEAM LEADERS
Chris Grostic requested that prayer group leaders should make sure their members know who the new team leaders are and their responsibilities.
Chris stated that CONEO meetings should be attended by Team Leaders. Any prayer group member that wishes to attend a Team Meeting; e.g. December 10, is welcome to attend.
Nancy Moran stated that requiring a member to do both a workshop and the follow-up meetings is too stressful, as the preparation time, travel time and teaching responsibilities are very intense. She suggested that the retreat leader be relieved of the follow-up responsibilities. The team agreed.
Chris Grostic stated that the Federated Family Life Center in Chagrin Falls wanted us to do an Intro Workshop in the first quarter of 2017. Federated wants to increase their membership to either start a new group or use as a filler to already established groups. We need a presenter and a Book Table representative.
Any other prayer group that wants an Introductory Workshop should call Chris Grostic.
JAMES FINLEY RETREAT in 2017
Nancy Moran reported that Villa Maria is inviting James Finley June 23-25, 2017. She suggested that we cooperate with Villa Maria by offering to lead prayer after the lectures, ask if we can put out our advertising on their hospitality table or getting a block of rooms that our prayer groups can have access to, if they want to attend. Chris Grostic suggested that this be discussed in January after our own Introductory Workshop is completed.
Nancy Moran, also, stated that the Erie, PA Contemplative Outreach is planning to bring in Fr. Menninger. No date has been scheduled.
INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPLATIVE OUTREACH “VISIONING RETREAT”.
Chris Grostic reported that the International Office is having their retreat, September 21, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. Many of their staff are retiring and they need to select new staff and reset their future goals. Any member can attend. For further information go on their website.
Marilyn Mack will be taking an annual vacation visiting her children in Texas and California for the holidays. Meetings that occur while she is gone will have to have notes taken by someone else.
NEXT MEETING: December 10, 2016 at St. Matthews.
Marilyn Louise Mack, Secretary.
One correction is that the International program Sept 21 to 24 that you mentioned is a conference not a retreat. We had annual conferences up until two years ago. The new individuals are already on board and running CO. What we will be doing is learning more of the direction CO is going and a time for input of what we would like CO to include in their new look.
You might want to go to the Contemplative Outreach website, get your name on their email list and learn more about CO in general. I would be happy to discuss CO’s history. with you. Let me know if you would like to set up a phone meeting.
Peace be with you,
From Nancy Moran
An addendum to the minutes – this is not a correction because we didn’t discuss it in the meeting but I want to take this opportunity to make a comment regarding workshop stress in the minutes. As we already know all the opportunities the Holy Spirit gives us to share centering prayer are meaningful and enriching for both for the transmitter and the receiver. This is very true of the Introduction to Centering Prayer Workshops. We also know the gifts of the Holy Spirit are peace and rest – I/we experience stress only when we make it so. In reality, presenting at workshops is a grace that strengthens our love for and commitment to centering prayer. I wanted to write this because I want to encourage people who have the impetus to do the presenter formation to know what a good and grace filled experience it is.
I also want to clarify that if the presenters want to facilitate the follow up sessions this may certainly be an option.