General Assembly of All English Volunteers
By Yuko Kosugi
The First General Assembly of All Volunteers in the John de Britto English Center with the new TEAM of Coordinators: Sr. Flor, Sr. Rose, Sr. Leny, Adelfa and Fr. Chiesa, was held October 7th in Kibe Hall. The purpose was to get to know each other beyond their usual functions, deepen their understanding of their role and mission as volunteers in St. Ignatius Church and to give opportunity to discuss things not normally taken up in the monthly International Meetings.
In attendance were participants of different ages, nationalities, lengths and areas of service. To achieve a stronger bond, there was sharing by pairs. Each one wrote in one word his/her experience of doing volunteer work in the Center and in another word, each one’s hope/desire from now on. Many words came out for the first one, such as, blessed, happy, joyful, empowered, hopeful, challenging, life-changing, hard, fulfilling, grateful etc. The hopes and desires were: evangelization, mission, understanding, peace, support, unity, collaboration, outreach, etc.
After the activity two very short videos were shown which reminded us that “The Church is Us” and “Each one of us is a part of Christ’s Body.” Raymond Gasu, a veteran volunteer very well summarized what we have learned:
Both videos I think, drive home the message contained in “Mission 2030” of St. Ignatius Church. As part of the Church, we “plug” into the Church and get “charged” in order to live our faith and be able to touch the lives of others by the way we live our faith. An old Latin proverb states: "Nemo dat quod non habet”, which literally means "no one gives what he/she doesn't have". So it is only when we get “charged” through our connection to the Church that we can in turn, “charge” others, eventually leading to a "Collaborative Community” where we are all contributing to the growth of the Church. By deepening our prayer we would get charged and then able to spread the Gospel as a living community resulting in a new collaborative community. Being parts of the Body of Christ as members and volunteers of the Church, I believe we are called to be part of this new "Collaborative Community”, the fourth pillar of Mission 2030”.
We were also reminded that while we are all different and work in various areas in the Church, we all are important. Each one has a particular role in the building as well as in maintaining the unity in the Church. “If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy. Now you are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it. (I Cor 12: 26-27).” Furthermore, for the Church to grow, we have to be connected to the Vine, our Lord Jesus Christ.
I deeply appreciate the new Coordinators’ efforts to commit themselves to the International Community and to try to deepen our bonding in this transition period which is not very easy. May we always be united in love and prayers!