From Br. David Luke Hutton, OEF
Place your mind in the mirror of eternity;
Place your soul in the splendor of glory;
Place your heart in the figure of the divine substance;
And, through contemplation, transform your entire being into the image of the Divine One himself,
So that you, yourself, may also experience what his friends experience when they taste the hidden sweetness that God alone has kept from the beginning
For those who love him.
-Clare of Assisi
With That, months of planning, prayer and coordination, for the OEF region spanning Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and other places, came to be. From the beginning of the Planning Stages, DFC Sister Allegrezza and David Luke longed for time to devote to Clare of Assisi in 4 defined areas of her of Love, Life, Service and Prayer.
Taking a nod, from Good Lady Clare, we turned our attentions to the forty-plus people who had responded to David Luke’s Facebook Request to send prayer concerns/requests to him. Both Privately and Publicly so the gathered members of the Order could offer their prayers, and yes, thoughts for each.
Each member took several Prayer Requests randomly from those coming forward. The member was bid (challenged/encouraged, as the needs were many) to keep the requests near to them during the Gathering. Both privately and at public times of worship and prayer. Some members kept them on their person during waking hours, others at the Altar of St. Agnes House. Our days began with Eucharist, and a lone Vigil Candle kept watch over all present, reminding us perhaps, to be a Light in what is often times~ a darkened world.
One time of communal reflection involved the idea of the Butterfly Effect-the phenomenon where small changes to a seemingly unrelated thing or condition can affect large, complex systems. The term comes from the suggestion that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in South America could affect the weather in Texas, meaning that the tiniest influence on one part of a system can have a huge effect on another part.
Continuing on with the Question, “What is the Ministry of the OEF?” we sought to re-define the Franciscan personal ministry into Collective Ministry with the adoption of eleven women from a remote village in India through a Micro-Loan- in order that they may reinforce the community milking barn and purchase another Jersey cow. For Africa, we also gathered the resources to send a Basket of Hope (Chicks and Rabbits) to a family in Rwanda as they strive for Independence through farming.
~Keep Doing What You’re Doing~ What you’re doing, may you keep on doing and don’t stop.
~Keep Doing What You’re Doing~With swiftness, agility, and unswerving feet, may you go forward with joy and security knowing that you’re on the path of wisdom and happiness.
~Keep Doing What You’re Doing~ Believe nothing and agree with nothing that will turn you away from this commitment.
~Keep Doing What You’re Doing~ Nothing should be allowed to prevent you from offering yourself to the Most High in the perfection to which the Spirit of God has called you. Amen.
-Clare of Assisi
In addition to Sister Allegrezza’s repeated efforts to bring us to consensus on our Gathering/Regional name, she encouraged a nature walk that took us to the University of Kentucky Library, which was replete with Flags of the World, as well as sacred Muslim manuscripts.
(It would only be much later, we learned how many in this fair University town labored over the Manuscripts. Some going so far to protest march in the Streets against this showing.)
All meals were taken ‘In House’ meaning we cooked with what we had brought. Cereals. Home made bread, (made by Eleanor) a loaf brought by Juniper from his visit to Nashville) eggs, pasta, fruit, cheese, almonds, coffee from other countries. All were well fed and well-filled in community, just as many of the early Franciscans were.
Chatter was the watch word, so hungry were members of the OEF, who voiced “What’s Next?” though times remained true for gathering, yet not over the needs of those sharing.
Following the work of thy hands, a lesson of Mother Clare who was known to sew beautiful corporals for altars around Italy, we created hand-stamped greeting cards. Touched lightly with Parisian pigments. Wide and far, the creativity of those gathered came. The unique style and art work was not lost on the participants!
As St. Agnes House is a Safe House for those receiving treatment at the University of Kentucky, we were ever mindful of the needs of those around us. A Tibetan Buddhist gave us his blessings, having been invited to join us for breakfast, as well as a mother (seeking treatment for a majorly infected foot) and a blind daughter from Ashland, Kentucky, who soon found a place at this common table.
Mariposa is our Regional name for gathering..for fellowship..
Those present: Markie Oliver, OEF, Sister Allegrezza, OEF, DFC. John Juniper Robertson, OEF, Sonny, Eleanor, David Luke, OEF. (& our brother, Bob Mason, who always accompanies our Fellowship, but was unable to participate, due to a death in his immediate family.)