As read by Maureen Rovegno, CWC Life Member June 2013
A Reflection and Prayer to begin the 2013 Season…
Since the era of the Enlightenment we humans in the Western world have focused on the numerous parts, the minutiae, the detailed issues of both the larger world and our lives as the accepted modus operandi of the age of information and the scientific method. Focusing for the most part largely on the parts rather than on the whole, every now and then we wisely take the opportunity to look at the bigger picture – to appreciate who we are and where we are, and where have been – and so today I am suggesting that we step back to pray in appreciation of the long and larger view of the reality of our Chautauqua Women’s Club as we begin this new Season.
First and foremost, however, I want to lift up the fact that I believe that this organization has already entered into this process of self-discovery and renewed appreciation. In the last few years, the Women’s Club has dared to look up and to look beyond the ways and circumstances and contexts and practices with which we had become very comfortable for quite awhile, and we have entered into a new evolutionary phase in our ongoing and inevitable growth. And I choose the word inevitable here precisely because we all know it to be true that, if and when we would ever stop evolving, we would cease to exist.
Everything evolves! We could name so many contexts in which we as humans are evolving: the evolution of technology, the evolution of global cooperation, the evolution of consciousness, the evolution of worldviews, the evolution of information, the evolution of values, the evolution of respect for the Other, the evolution of spirituality and religion, the evolution of cultures, the evolution of principles and patterns of living and behaving.
Around the world we are also evolving the narratives that define who we are as peoples and nations and individuals – and organizations. Everything is seeking meaning and purpose, and our beloved Chautauqua Women’s Club is a player in this conscious decision to evolve.
In the last few years we have re-imagined ourselves through the amazing transformation of this beautiful Clubhouse, and in the process we have re-contextualized our creative capacities in all of our endeavors. We have developed the courage to jettison the burdensome tasks and enterprises that were consuming our energies and enthusiasms, and we have envisioned new possibilities for growth and organizational health. We have done the hard work of asking who we are and who we want to be. We have acknowledged that we are evolving, and we like who we are now becoming!
And so we pray…
Creator of all that is, we give great thanks for this organization of enlightened and creative women. We give thanks that we have been blessed to gather here once again in this lovely, transformed space – this precious clubhouse – within a lovely, sacred place that we collectively call our home – our beloved Chautauqua.
We give thanks for the good health that permits us to be here, and we thank you in advance for the wonderful memories that we will together create in this 140th Assembly as we plan for the 125th Anniversary next year of our historic Club.
We give thanks most of all for the gift of remembering that we gather first and foremost for the joy of fellowship and friendship, which, in the comfort and fun of each other’s company, motivates and spurs us on to serve and to create greater and lasting good here at Chautauqua and beyond.
Mindful of all of these blessings, we join our voices, as we have joined our hearts, and together we say a very “I am so GLAD to be here” AMEN!
- Maureen Rovegno, CWC Life Member, June 2013