A blessed fourth week of Advent!
We are grateful for the opportunity to connect with you during this bright week of Advent. As the candles shine brightly, so too does the work of the Board to illuminate the discernment of many months of work: We filed our new name and bylaws in the District of Columbia. Each board member worked on one of three subcommittees articulating the policies and procedures that will make the new and approved bylaws a reality. We met with the leadership of the Federation for the Catechesis of Hispanics in an effort toward greater collaboration and dialogue, and we dreamt of what all this looks like in 2021.
At our board meeting last Friday, we began with a reflection on the Nativity scene. One of our board members shared their tradition of beginning Advent with one set of nativity characters and later changing to another with the baby Jesus. We found the first to be a very unique Nativity scene, with a pregnant Mary. We talked about the difficult journey, carrying so much, leaving so many things behind. There would be great joy and much to celebrate, but before that they experienced loss. They made many sacrifices.
We reflected on this experience of “birthing” something new, of being co-creators with the Holy Spirit. This was our last meeting as the Board of Directors of the National Conference of Catechetical Leadership. In the new year, when we gather, it will be as the board of In Word and Witness. We are excited, and yet we took a moment to reflect on the things we could not carry into the future. We shared our gratitude for all that has been given through our history to build what became NCCL, from the early Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) movement in this country, with roots going back to 1934. Some structures and systems change but the mission continues.
We also shared our great hope in what we believe is a “living into” the question, “Who are we called to be today?” The vision that we shared in the fall (with the new bylaws) was a dream knit together with the community’s input. This was an ongoing discussion over the last couple of years with our Representative Council, a continuing conversation with all those who gave input as part of the Meitler process. This is a shared vision, one created in prayer, with you, and with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
In the coming weeks and months, you will see a new organization name and brand, and a new way of accompanying one another, a new way of living out our mission to transform the world by reflecting Christ. We are so excited for you to see what comes next.
And finally, we wish for you and yours this Advent season, the light that shines in the darkness, that illuminates hope and love and mercy for all who respond to God’s invitation in Jesus Christ.
From the Board of Directors of the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership
Soon to be In Word and Witness