Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Opening Day

Marie Howard welcomes first-time participants at the conference. Each year Marie works with a local chapter and its Coordinator to organize our annual conference. Marie is a master at providing the logistical creativity needed to make our conference run smoothly and a grand success in all senses of the word.

Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler, President

Mark Nowak, Coordinator

Carol Leach Welcomes

Welcome to our conference Everyone! My name is carol leach and I'm a neophyte at this blogging stuff! The good news is that when I turned on this borrowed lap top, I found a signal... and the blog here I go! I'll do my best to give you a sense of what I am experiencing the next few days.
Maybe I should introduce myself...I'm a wife and mom (for longer than I care to remember) from Annapolis, MD. I've had a regular practice of centering prayer for about 15 years, have facilitated an ecumenical CP group for over 7 yrs at St. Anne's Episcopal church, and present Intro's to CP once in a while. Over the years I've met most of the faculty of Contemplative Outreach at various workshops and retreats so coming to these conferences (it's my third) is a much anticipated reunion of sorts. Of course, Father Thomas is always the highlight for me with his sense of humor, profound insights into the spiritual journey and his open and joyful presence that sometimes borders on mischievous. Would you believe that I once shared a steak with him in a DC restaurant ???
Despite feeling terrified and inept, I'll attempt to share my personal thoughts and reflections as we journey through this conference, "Oneness: Unity in Contemplation". More than ever we, our country and the world need the fruits of the Spirit that are fostered by contemplative prayer: wisdom, "charity, compassion and tolerance, peace-making and courage for social justice".
God's blessings, carol