Jane Forni, SSND, NACAR Board member

The newest edition of The Associate is now available to registered users for download pdf here (608 KB) . Beginning with this issue, we are introducing a new feature. We will be publishing a feature article on our website for anyone to read. We are also inviting NACAR members who have registered for the website to submit comments, questions and opinions in response to this article. The intent is to initiate an online conversation where participants are able to see and respond to each other as well as to the article. To submit responses, be sure to login and then go to the bottom of the article and click on "Add new comment" or reply to any comment that has already been posted by going to the existing comment and adding a new one.

In the reorganization of NACAR and the NACAR Board over the past months, board members have frequently discussed questions about the meaning of association and the nature of the relationship between associates and their respective congregations. Vatican II established the original foundation for what has become the associate movement in North America fifty years ago by "shining a spotlight" on lay persons in the church and emphasizing the baptismal call of all Christians to be in mission in the world.

During the ensuing years, the answers to questions about association and associates have shifted and evolved as congregations and their associates have grappled with the practical realities of developing and implementing formal programs. There are numerous forms of association and a variety of ways in which associates and congregations establish and live out their mutual commitments. What seems to me to be core to association, however, are two interrelated notions, call and the relationship that flows from that call.

JesterWherever this finds you, my NACAR board colleagues, staff and I hope and pray you are doing well, and that your associate ministry continues to thrive!

We are happy to report that this month's workshop in Burlingame, California, is sold out! This is wonderful news because it offers all participants an opportunity to gain much more from the workshop experience than if otherwise is the case. Each brings their gifts and wisdom to share in the presence of the Holy Spirit, and we grow and transform the associate movement as a result! Board members Kathy Herrington and I look forward to co-hosting.

On the opposite side of the country, we anticipate another NACAR workshop sell out: Contemporary Spirituality of Association. The venue is Notre Dame of Maryland University, Baltimore. Dates: June 14 – 16, 2012. Check out the details, and start making plans to attend!