A Note From our Program Committee

By Christine Sorensen, August 29, 2018

When our Board gathered in June to discern a theme for 2018-2019 I felt my usual sense of excitement to see where an openness to the Spirit would lead us.  After some intentional quiet time and discussion Living Presence was the answer to our process.

These are, yet again, interesting times to be lay ecclesial ministers.  We are reading and hearing the horrific news of both the resignation of Cardinal McCarrick and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s report of at least 1000 children who are victims of clergy sexual abuse.  These stories follow 16 years after the tsunami in the Archdiocese of Boston and on the heels of the close of the bankruptcy here in our home Archdiocese.  And yet, we who love the Gospel struggle with this reality as we continue to choose to proclaim, in our various ministries, the love of our God.  As we hear in Acts 17:28 in God …”we live, move and have our being” - we are not unaware that we dwell in the Living Presence . It is my hope as the Program Chair that our programs will nourish, strengthen and embolden your spirits as we minister to God’s people.

We have some wonderful speakers who will be with us this year to explore this theme in ways that we trust will enrich all of us and our ministries.

Letter from the Chair - Living Presence
by Amy Chabot, July 3, 2018

God said to Moses, “I am who I am” (Exodus 3:14). This same presence of the living God dwells within each of us and all creation.  This is not new to any of us who make a living from staying in tune with that Living Presence.  Yet, most of us know how often we need to be reminded of God dwelling within.

Between personal life issues, difficult workplace encounters, and finding time for things like exercise and eating healthy, one can get pretty bogged down. It can be hard to step away and be for a while. We, as an organization, want to help provide you with exactly that, a place to step away and just be for a while. 

Very often by the time an APM meeting rolls around, I feel out of touch with this inner Living Presence. I sometimes doubt my effectiveness as a pastoral minister and can start to feel alone in my work. When I attend a meeting, something happens within the community of pastoral ministers. It is a place to create space and be renewed by this Living Presence, and my heart softens. It is a place where I encounter others who are speaking my same “language” and facing similar workplace challenges. It is a place where I am affirmed in my call as Pastoral Minister. 

You see, when we gather together, we become Living Presence for each other. It is an opportunity for the minister to be ministered to. The paschal mystery is alive and well in these encounters.  From the paschal mystery we may gain a new perspective in our personal or work life. This perspective may be just what is needed to approach the situation with renewed compassion, grace, and creativity.

This year, we want to focus more deliberately on the Living Presence in us and among us. The Living, Redeeming Presence that reminds us who we are, children of the Living God, children of the Living Presence.   Bringing us from sorrow to joy and giving us strength to be Living Presence for others.

Won’t you come join us?

Amy Chabot, APM Chair 2018-2019