Day 9: discernment, bishops committee, rosie thomas and sunshine!

Today we looked at COTA’s offer of mutual discernment which is available to all who are connected with COTA. Jordan, the community architect, ran us through what this is and how it works. It’s not therapy, but instead an opportunity for people to join a small group of purpose and listen to God and to others when they are considering a key decision in their lives, or looking for some meaning. The group is not about giving advice, but more about presenting an opportunity to delve into questions at a deeper level, and to have the benefit of others listening in and helping in that digging and listening process.

I was intrigued and impressed by this because it seems to be something that COTA has seen is needed and so is offering as a service to other people. There is no comeback to COTA; there is no monetary benefit; this is all about helping people to develop and help themselves. This is about building relationships and encouraging people to take time over decisions. It takes a big commitment as the group meets monthly and one person shares their question each month while others comment upon it. So … if there are as few as 6 in the group the commitment would be for 8 months as there are introductory sessions as well.

It’s very tempting to think about using something like this at home when the gathering or community has got bigger; but I htink it is  ore important to take the principle and ask ‘what service can we as a community provide for others we come into contact with?’ It could be somehting like mutual discernment, or it could be something else.

Following this discussion, I led Vespers before joining the COTA Bishops committee. This is the group that is responsible and answerable to the bishop for how COTA runs. It was a good lively meeting as the group discussed their responsibilities and how they work. This is a good group that works together well and has fun as they do it. In the two meetings I have been to I have also been struck by their honesty to each other. This is really necessary for successful leadership, but honesty of this level within decision making bodies I have known within the UK can be rare. Maybe this is a UK – USA thing!?

The evening was a surprise. We thought we were doign Pub Theology but we got our dates wrong. Pub theology will be tomorrow night. Tonight was ‘From Michigan not Mars’ with Rosie Thomas in the Abbey. This was quite a cool night. I loved seeing the abbey used in this way, and it was packed. Rosie was interesting and spoke and sang well. The film was quite an intimate following of her outlook. There was an emotional silence when she was speaking about what she cared for and what brought her fulfilmet – bringing joy to others. Some celebs talk crap, but I think Rosie was being genuine.

The big thing for today though was tht the sun came out again. Today I have taken photos of Fremont in the sun. I like Fremont anyway, but in the sun it looks so much brighter. Most of the pics are repeats, but repeats in sunshine!

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