As part of the Opening Session on the first day of the Congregational Gathering (CG2018) each of the delegates were individually called forth by the Congregational Leadership Team to receive a blessing symbolised by the light from the CG2018 Candle. They made a commitment to participate fully in the Gathering.
‘This solemn moment of calling forth evoked in us a deep sense of commitment to the evolving story of our Congregation’.
The delegates were then invited to spend some time in stillness, and to enter into a contemplative dialogue process pondering the questions:
Why be a Pilgrim still?
What am I bringing to this pilgrim journey?
(See full Reflection piece under Day 1 – Friday April 30th 2018, shared by Delegates from the African Unit. Day-one-African Delegates-reflection )
Ireland South West, as part of their Symbol Reflection, presented by Sisters Sheila Kelleher, Marie Wall, Pauline Casey, Anne Coffey and Mary Kelliher, shared this ‘pilgrim poem’ by Kerry poet, Brendan Kennelly, inviting all of the delegates to recite together the final verse.
See full Video Presentation of their complete Symbol Reflection on the link HERE
Begin again to the caroling birds,
To the sight of light at the window,
Begin to the roar of morning traffic
All along Pembroke Road.
Every beginning is a promise
Born in light and dying in dark,
Daily deception and exultation
Of Springtime flowering the way to work.
Begin to the pageant of queuing girls,[…]
To the lonely arrogance of swans in the canal,
To bridges linking past and future,
To old friends passing though with us still.
Begin to the loneliness that cannot end
Since it perhaps is what makes us begin,
Begin to wonder at unknown faces,
At crying birds and the sudden rain.
At branches stark in the winter sunlight,[…]
At seagulls foraging for bread,
At couples sharing a sunny secret
Alone together while making good.
Though we live in a world that thinks of ending,
That always seems about to give in,
Something that will not acknowledge conclusion
Insists that we forever begin.
~ Brendan Kennelly