Transformational Leadership for Mission

Transformational Leadership for Mission Now and Into the Future

45 Good Shepherd sisters from 8 Provinces and 11 countries of the Asia Pacific region gathered at the Haven Resort Hotel, Ipoh, Malaysia from 4-30 October 2017.  This Transformational Leadership for Mission programme offered the opportunity for participants to renew and reenergize to become more effective as spiritual leaders and equip themselves for the Mission in the rapidly changing world.

 

List of participants

Click hereList of Participants

 

Photo

Participants of 'Transformational Leadership for Mission Now and into the Future' with Jill and Elaine (Facilitators) Theresa Symons (AP MDO Manager) and Joan Lopez (Unit Leader of Singapore/Malaysia Province).

 

Opening Ritual - 'Coming Together'

Participants gathered on the 5th October around the decorated spiral symbol representing the diverse culture and relevance of integrated approach to leadership. The facilitators led the participants into a meaningful prayer and reflection on 'Coming Together'. It was a moment of getting in touch with our deeper selves, our Units and Congregation. The ritual concluded with an arch dance which invited us to experience the divine presence within us and among us.

Click here - 2017 Transformational Leadership for Mission Opening Ritual

Process of facilitation

The reflective questions posed by the facilitators Ms Jill McCorquodale and Srs Elaine Basinger and Josita Corera moved the participants into the sacred space of ‘birthing to be midwives to one another, reminding each other to trust the process of becoming spiritual leaders’.

Welcome

The Asia Pacific Formation Core Team, Coordinator, Sr Florence Soe welcomed the participants in a spirit of hope that they would commit themselves during the program to renew and reenergize to become more effective as spiritual leaders and equip themselves for the mission in the rapidly changing world.

Message from Asia Pacific Circle

Sr Joan Lopez, Province Leader, Singapore/Malaysia read the message of Srs Francine Muthugala and Regina Htoo Htoo on behalf of the Asia Pacific Unit Leaders. In their message they reminded the participants of the components of the program that are designed as holistic, experiential and co-learning, and of new understanding of Leadership. They envisage the time to be a process of reflecting, engaging in contemplative dialogue, and gathering wisdom in the group towards transformation within oneself for mission. 

Reflection and sharing on leadership

The participants spent qualitative time on reflecting and sharing the experience and understanding of leadership of their own culture and how it has influenced the leadership of Church, Organisations, Government and other Institutions in their country. Though the participants are from 11 countries it appears that there are many similarities/ commonalities such as patriarchal system and male domination in the society. It was also felt that in spite of negative influence many movements building up today in Asia Pacific Region are towards awareness/conscientization. 

 

Module 1 - Finding my place in the New Story

The planet earth is our home, living, breathing, and self-organizing. All creation is the manifestation of God’s unique incarnation and the expression of the Holy One. Each creature in the universe has its own unique place in the web of life. Thus, all the beings in the universe are interconnected and are interdependent. We asked:

How do we experience this in our lives?

We shared our stories though each is unique.

The three principles of the universe - diversity, interiority, communion - can make a difference in formation, spirituality and in our ministry.

For diversity to be beautiful and life giving, there must be deep interiority - only then can true communion happen. 

Click here for more information Module 1Finding my place in the New Story

 

Module 2 - Leadership in the New Story

The module on the “New Story Unfolding” brought us into a new understanding of leadership in today’s fast changing world. We reflected on how we live out the principles of the new story in our service of leadership.

‘The Four Quadrants of Change’

Through the understanding of the ‘Four Quadrants’, we discovered that for any change to take place, it must begin within ourselves. It challenged us to commit ourselves to the inner journey of transformation.

Understanding our Personality Preferences 

We used the Myers Briggs Personality indicator to understand our personality preferences. We then went on to experientially understand and appreciate these differences.

We realized the importance of having this understanding as we relate to one another in community.  By conscious awareness of the different types we come to accept the richness and the uniqueness of each person that we interact with every day. 

Spiral Dynamics

The understanding of the ‘levels in Spiral Dynamics’ in organizing the principles of human nature was something new and exciting.

Spiral Dynamics is a data-based, psychological approach to understanding worldviews or systems of thinking held by individuals, organisations and societies. It is concerned with how people respond to the world around them in given circumstances and with their particular coping abilities.

We had some vibrant and energizing conversations in identifying the level we are in as individuals, Provinces, Congregation, Church and the Country. ….we reflected on the question: “Where am I on the Spiral? Where is my Community/ Province on the Spiral?”

Our reflection and sharing challenged each one of us to move beyond and see the wider worldview.

We came to realize that we are at different levels in the spiral and this is true of our community/society.  We as a group need to challenge ourselves and others to move upwards in the spiral in order to make the mission more alive, and integrated.  In this way we become capable of the kind of leadership that is truly with Christ consciousness transforming.

Click here for more information Module 2 - Leadership in the New Story

 

Module 3 - Integrated Approach to Mission

Finance and Administration

“With great power comes great responsibility and great responsibility comes with great power” was the starting point of Yolanda Borbon, Congregational Treasurer as she moved to the topics on stewardship, integrity, credibility and responsibility and pointed out that accountability and transparency is a concrete expression of the spirituality of stewardship. Yolanda enlarged on the significant role that Good Shepherd International Foundation plays regarding the sustainability of Good Shepherd Mission into the future.

Deeper Communion

As we continued our journey of transformation we looked at ways of being together that will lead us to deeper communion and CHRIST CONSCIOUSNESS. The video clips on Developmental Psychology by Sr. Maria Tasto, OSB, helped the participants to unmask the distorted perspective of self that we carry.  In our reflections and sharing, we acknowledged that we have created a false self program of happiness to answer our needs for security, affirmation, control and belongingness. We experienced the struggles within as we journeyed to discover our true selves and seek the great, strong, wise woman inside each one of us.

Our journey was further enriched by our session on contemplation and the talks of Fr. Thomas Keating, OSB, on the Spiritual Journey through ‘Cantering Prayer’.  We were led to go deeper into our contemplative consciousness, the place where God dwells and where our deepest longing to be intimately united with God-place where we can participate fully in God’s unfolding mystery and infinite possibilities.  We are invited to simply BE and to take a long loving look at our God and to allow God to take a long loving look at us.

Evolutionary Leadership of Jesus

We looked at Jesus who challenged social/political system of his society and all forms of domination, who was a bearer of the dream of God for a world of justice and compassion. He not only challenged the social practices of the time, he proclaimed the values of the kingdom of God. As leaders we are challenged today to be visionaries and to change the Old Story to New Story.

Integrated Approach to Mission

While speaking on integrated approach to mission, Theresa Symons, the AP MDO regional manager, shared on how relevant the Spiral Dynamics and Quadrants are as diagnostic tools for mission effectiveness.  The successful implementation of strategic plans is directly co-related to the wellbeing and congruency of mission partners (self and community). Theresa also emphasized the need to integrate Justice and Peace, Spirituality and Best Ministry Practices.

Partnership for Mission

It was a revelation for the participants when three Sisters from Singapore/Malaysia Province - Elizabeth, Imelda and Jossie - shared their struggles, pains and uncertainties at the initial stage when lay mission partners were integrated in their life and mission. Theresa also shared her experiences as a lay mission partner.  And now they see their presence has brought new energy and vibrancy in the mission. Today reflecting back on having to let go of one’s comfort zone was an opportunity for the mission to continue and grow.  Reference was made to the Good Shepherd Asia Pacific Partnership Handbook.  Resource Booklet 2015

Planning Forward

The last two precious days of sacred journey were spent in gathering the learning and rich experiences of 45 participants.  We were amazed how each one had captured the inputs of ‘Transformational Leadership for Mission Now and into the Future’. In individual presentations, the participants expressed the way forward creatively by way of drawing, arts and craft, storytelling, singing, dancing, and presenting power points, cartoons, and their credo of leadership. The participants articulated their vision and commitment to take forward their learning to the Province, Communities and ministries.

Closing Ritual 

The closing ritual began with the happy memories displayed on the screen of our sacred journey together of 26 days. The psalm on sacred journey and the whole ritual was a moment of deep joy within our heart and gratitude to God. To conclude the ritual the participants  danced ‘The Pond of Life’ symbolizing the abundant blessings of God poured on each one of us and allowing to carry the blessings to share with Sisters and lay mission partners in our Province, Communities and to people around us.

Click here for more information Module 3 - Integrated Approach to Mission

 

Submitted by Sr Anne Marie Fernandez