The Christian Church in the United States is in a liminal space, unsure about how or whether to seek new ways to live our traditions in new contexts. St. Catherine University (St. Kate's), founded and sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJs) and home to one of the nation's largest undergraduate colleges for women, has lived in and embraced a similar liminal space for decades. This program will invite congregations into a two-year practice period of monthly meetings centered on contemplative practices and will invite lay leaders of Christian congregations into their own two-year practice period of study of Christian discipleship. Lay leaders and their congregations will simultaneously learn more about the broader communities of which they are a part and choose an area of focus for community engagement. Participants in the two programs (along with members of their congregations) will come together twice-yearly for retreats that focus on the intersection of contemplation and discipleship. Our Initiative for Contemplative Discipleship accepts what Catholic feminist theologian and CSJ Elizabeth Johnson calls God's invitation to us to "come ahead." Our nation's racial injustices (as undeniably in view locally as we write) and the COVIO-19 pandemic are not only challenges, but calls to congregations to enter into the liminal space where the church belongs.
Initiative for Contemplative Discipleship
St. Paul, MN