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Associate Directors and Liaisons Annual Meeting

Columbus, OH - October 30, 2006--Twenty-one associates and sisters representing the associate leadership of thirteen congregations gathered at St. Mary of the Springs for the annual meeting of the US Dominican Associate Directors and Leadership Liaisons October 13-15.

The meeting began with eight representatives from five of the Cluster congregations gathering on Friday morning and afternoon to discuss various Cluster issues related to associates. The group decided to share documents (associate handbooks, policies, formation processes, mission statements) to be compiled into a comparison document by Jay Jackson, Columbus Associate. In an effort to help associates from the various Cluster congregations make connections with one another in their geographical areas, associate directories will also be shared in order to create one directory. This will be compiled and organized according to region by Great Bend Associate Anne Knight.

The larger group convened on Friday evening, with the meeting continuing on Saturday morning and afternoon. Included in the discussion were reports from the group's representative Diane Kieler, Sinsinawa Associate Director, and others who attended the DLC Meeting in Sinsinawa; from the Northeast Six representatives on their plans for a regional "Voices of Hope" Gathering in April, 2007; from Anita Davidson on the ongoing conversation with and upcoming meeting of the Federation's Steering Committee regarding the national convocation in 2008 and the possibility of combining that convocation with Voices of Hope in an effort to model the partnership between vowed members and associates; and from Connie Schoen, OP representing Parable Conference on the organization's mission and how they might make better connections with associates in regard to the various programs sponsored by Parable.

There was much conversation comparing and contrasting the level of participation of associates with each congregation, the governance structures currently being used, the usage of OPA after associates' names and the availability or absence of lifetime commitment for associates.

As always, this opportunity to gather with other Dominicans was an energizing, enjoyable yet exhausting experience. As we continue to develop a network of support among us as associate leadership, we also are empowering associates from all of our congregations to further the Dominican mission in myriad ways in countless new and never-before imagined places!

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