Staff Retreat Reflection
- Jun 23, 2016
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Dear Holy Innocents Family:
As I write at the end of this day, I give thanks for a wonderful staff retreat. Led by our own Nan Henson, your staff took time to explore the ancient spiritual tool called the Enneagram. If you don’t know much about it or nothing at all, take time to research it. It’s a powerful tool toward personal fulfillment rooted in the celebration of your best self – the person God called into being.
Our day-long study allowed us to sit with one another, share parts of who we are, and begin a dialogue about how we work (best) together. Before the day, I knew of the immense privilege it is to share in ministry with our staff, but the day together opened new doors into who we are and how God is calling us. We are a wonderfully talented group of people committed to the good work of ministry at HI. I’m deeply thankful for Nan’s work among us and for the opportunity to deepen the journey that we take in service to God at Holy Innocents.
The hard work of looking deep within can be daunting. None of us really want to be labeled, identified, or reduced to a set of traits (that’s why I never really liked the Myers Briggs, if I’m honest). While the Enneagram asks us to look deep within, unlike an assessment or personality type, it reveals a path to spiritual wholeness. It allows us to discover what tricks we’ve acquired to mask our beloved self, the one God desires most of all in our lives. It invites us to be present in the source of our being, and letting go of ego, to accept that we never attain to the presence of God; we are already there. (to paraphrase Richard Rohr)
Sometimes, people ask me: what is your dream for Holy Innocents? Often, I talk about strategy, things we are trying to do to claim our name in mission, or how we want to honor our children and pass along the faith to them. Those, along with community and care, are central to our mission. But at my core, my deepest wish for Holy Innocents is that we be a place for faith where you are encouraged to be your true self. A place where you know more than any other that you are cherished, that God, the source of your life, is pulling for you, celebrating you, loving you. I want us to be the safest place on earth for you to just be you.
Here’s why that’s my dream: if we allow each other to grow into the full person God calls us to be, everything else falls into place. We honor one another. We serve those others forget. Our children are nurtured. We love with the heart of God and Christ is made known in our midst.
This is splendid dream. But it does not come true when we look to others to provide it. The work, according to the Enneagram, begins with each of us taking responsibility for the journey of our souls, the journey of our lives.