Chairpersons from the 150+ SPRED communities in the Archdiocese of Chicago gathered enthusiastically to share delights from the past SPRED season and re-fuel for the next. The warm fuzzies that were exchanged lit our fires and reminded us of the gift that graces each of our lives. Our hosts provided scrumptious treats as we savored the friendships and the vision that binds us together.
We were then ready to look at the present and contemplate strategies to attend to both the current and future needs of our SPRED friends. Waiting lists point out the need for more SPRED communities. Friends who have reached a point of transition were also identified triggering a discussion at each meeting. Who goes on the waiting list? ... the Friend who is no longer comfortable in a younger group? or the Friend who has not yet been in the program? How does the syllabus honor the chronological age of the Friend? Can a child with a disability sense the need to move on? What are some of the signs of disconnection? When is it necessary for a group to change from one age group to another? And ... what does the change entail regarding environment; choice of activities and change of the mindset of the catechists ... to be able to recognize that the person is no longer a child, but instead an adult with adult needs. How does changing an age group affect other parishes and SPRED communities. Whew! Many thoughts and concerns were shared ... definitely just scratched the surface ... not enough time to address at the planning meeting. I wonder, would this be a good topic for a SPRED seminar/workshop?? Your thoughts are appreciated.
We sorted out what we could and flirted with the possibilities for summer animation. Ugh! not and easy thought when one is in a vacation mode. But, thankfully, some stalwart chairperson agreed to meet the challenge and extend and invitation to a neighboring parish to join the SPRED phenomenon. To do this effectively, one needs passion. We find this in the heart and spirit of our own SPRED community of faith. Those who have tasted the bliss of the SPRED experience are more apt to go to others. When one sees a good movie or indulges in a heavenly faire at a new restaurant, there is a natural urge to share the joy of our find. SPRED works the same.
But there are also animation skills and techniques that have been discovered over the years to be helpful to know. A series of SPRED workshops have been initiated to provide the ambitious and passionate with a place to share and discover ... a think tank on the art of animation. The next in the series will be hosted by the catechists of St. Edna Parish on Saturday, June 21st from 10:00am to 12:30pm in Hurley Center, Room D. All are welcome! Animation is the work of everyone who has been warmed by our Friends and rattled to the core by this marvelous ministry.
OH! ... wonderful ideas were also share regarding summer outi and creative ideas for playful interaction with our Friends as the sunshine and warmer weather finally calls us to fun.