THE PEOPLES SYNOD
Global Change is Coming
Introduction: The Signs of our Current Times:
We are living in globally disruptive times that call for global change. Advancement of technology and instantaneous communication have accelerated the inevitable carrying with them power and consequences. The nature of this transformative time has created uncertainty in every sector of life making it more stressful and anxious. Cultures are being transformed in both positive and negative ways. Cultures that are positive, healthy, productive, trusting and respectful have a majority of happy and contented citizens. Negative transformations occur when trust is broken, respect is lacking, and the citizenry of that culture no longer listen, are un-attentive, sensitive or responsive to one another.
As Americans we appear to be stuck in the latter. Pejorative language is the language of the day reinforcing confusion and fear of speaking out with apprehension of criticism and/or being canceled. We are a wounded people having forgotten what previously made us strong and healthy. Yet, in many ways our passivity has co-created the reality we live in indirectly. Which came first, the culture molding us or us reinforcing and growing that culture?
The Peoples Synod is a direct response to this upheaval as we witness global populations influenced by this rumbling chaos in tsunami fashion. This situational unrest has created a culture of misdirected anger causing physical rebellion by some in word and deed, depression and drugs as well as a rise in suicide rates–all unwanted effects. We see this time as a wake-up call to the People of God to recognize that the Pandemic, and the economy have yielded a crossroads moment, a moment to look inside, assess and celebrate the gifts we have and to exercise those gifts locally to transform ourselves, our families, our workplaces and the places we have a potential influence.
Simply stated, we are being call to be co-creators of a challenging future of our own making. Without reservation we believe we are called to this work at this time as we become the transformative tools of a new world, a new church, and new intentional beings committed to becoming thinking Catholic.
Our Collaborative Vision:
We believe in Jesus Christ and His Teaching. We are:
- Grounded in His simple Message of Love and the joyous freedom that it offers.
- Committed full equality and diversity in thought and deed, a cornerstone of His teaching.
- Open to listening deeply to one another to gain broader perspectives Building relational communities either diluted or lost in both the Pandemic and technology.
- Conscious that our human experience is where we find God and the common good.
- Committed to struggle with this new Spirit-inspired paradigm where our strategic result still remains a mystery but we learn of it more as we live more synodally to see the face of God in others.
For these reasons, we made His Teaching our common goal.
The Mission of the Peoples Synod:
We are faithful to Jesus, to live a liberated, joyful faith where we openly recognize and actualize our giftedness, as creations of a loving God, to co-create communities of faith that empower one another to work for the common good, an intentional future that fulfills Jesus’ invitation.
Our Foundational Values:
Our values dictate the choices we make and determine the direction of our lives . They are:
- We value Life. Jesus did not take life; He gave it.
- We value Love. Jesus gave love freely to others treating all with compassion and mercy.
- We value Peace. Jesus was the Prince of Peace, he brought love, not alienation, to others.
- We value Truth. Jesus valued truth through knowledge-learned by asking. Truth makes us free.
- We value Relationships. Jesus’ greatest desire is to be in relationship with each of us and encourages healthy relationships with others. Relationships multiply organically then.
- We value Faith. Jesus subdued His enemies through faith; it is our spiritual capital.
- We value Prayer. Jesus spent time in prayer that gave Him answers.
- We value The Communion of Saints. Jesus inclusively pursued, prayed and healed others.
- We value Righteousness. Jesus lived, modeled and died as a righteously moral man.
- We value Service. Jesus humbly served others teaching us that service is our human mandate.
- We value Sacrifice. Jesus sacrificed His life to share His Message
- We value Gratitude. Jesus taught thanksgiving by giving glory to His Father for all things.
These values guide all our decisions, choices and relationships.
The Mission of the Peoples Synod:
We prayerfully build living, loving synodal communities of faith that offer opportunities for thinking Catholics to speak their sacred, lived-experience-truths to grow in their lived faith built standing upon the tradition and shoulders of our ancestors. We are inclusive; we refuse no one as we live modeling our faith in all we consciously do in serving others, often at the expense of our own time, needs and welfare because we stand in gratitude for the persons we are becoming.
Our goals, developed to work in partnership with Pope Francis’ synodal philosophy and his New Evangelization, is focused on working exclusively with the People of God tapping into their skill sets and giftedness to co-develop opportunities to deepen our faith, live it intentionally to collegially work toward the common good.
Goal One: As members of the Peoples Synod, we must live what we preach. It is with lived integrity that our message will take on new life. Toward that end, we will diligently work to raise our own synodal skill sets by dedicating our gatherings to the opportunities posed in the New Evangelization: journeying together, encountering one another, deep listening, dialogue, discernment and decision making.
Rather than a domination system, we subscribe to models of empowerment, emphasizing the gifts & talents of all for the good of the community it supports, while holding a center that provides the structure to make that evolution possible. In such relationships, connection & communication naturally flow among its constituent parts because the ideas, needs, and visions of all are communicated.