Our Projects

 Projects Summary, 2014-2015:
 
1., Our major project was our 2014 annual conference presented by our friend and local scholar, Dr. Toni Craven, retired, TCU’s Brite Divinity School.
Dr. Craven walked us through a hundred years of Judith scholarship as her approach to Old Testament Wisdom (Sophia) literature, and the Theology of Wisdom Literature. “The roles of Woman Wisdom in creation, providence, and revelation and the feminine images associated with God’s involvement in the conception and nurture of humanity are iconoclastic texts that subvert the idols of patriarchy.” (LP, p.34)
    She reminded us again of lessons to be learned from the named and unnamed women and female representations of the Bible. Dr, Craven helped us step back and reflect that the People of God are on a journey from linear to non-linear thinking and progression from traditional modernist to non-traditional post-modern studies. As a result we live in tension; we strive to hold the proliferation of interpretive strategies in dynamic relationship. Dr. Craven contrasted orthodox conventions and orthodox faith: “Creative imagination may subvert orthodox conventions in order to usher into existence a new life-defining and life-orienting reality.” (LP, p. 51)
    Almost immediately after this Spring Event, we both established a budget for the 2015 Spring Conference and created a listing of nationally known journalists, theologians and civic leaders to invite. The general criterion was to offer the community of North Texas an interesting voice we might otherwise never be exposed to, to enrich us, to put us in the know a current issues of importance. As it turned out, one highly recommended speaker’s schedule matched our preferred dates, author and artist Jan Phillips. Anyone needing evidence of Providence will find it here: Toni Craven’s insistence on exercising “creative imagination” dovetails perfectly with the selected 2015 speaker’s resume and her workshop theme of evolutionary creativity and spiritual awakening.

2., Collaboration: Members attended or were represented at the following events which served to leaven our discussions:
# The annual Call To Action conference, in Nashville TN
# The annual Center for Action and Contemplation’s “Conspiracy for God,” a series of Seven Themes of an Alternative Orthodoxy, in Albuquerque NM.
# Fr. John Dear presentation, Campaign Non-Violence and the Nonviolent Life, Cathedral of Hope, Dallas
# The Dallas Open Window group’s annual Open Forum with Fr. Donald Cozzens, “Notes From the Underground.” (Our president, Rita Cotterly was a panelist following Cozzen’s presentation, to the theme, The State of the Church six months into Pope Francis’ papacy.)
# The NunJustice Project’s Prayer Vigil in solidarity with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and Sr. Elizabeth Johnson.
# Member review and on-going promotion of the Catholic Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. (americancatholiccouncil.org.)

3., Correspondence: Identifying ourselves as a North Texas progressive reform-concerned group we continue to collect signatures and voice our concerns to ecclesial authorities.
# We have addressed Cardinal Baldiseri and USCCB representatives who will participate in the 2015 Synod on the Family in Rome.
# We celebrated the first anniversary of our new bishop as we did his the news of his selecti n and his ordination, with a card and words of support and encouragement.
# We also, as a group and many of us as individuals, voiced our saddess at the closing of the Catholic Renewal Center and Book Store, and our disappointment at the abrupt and dismissive way the matter was handled.
# Individual voices: On several other occasions our members reported they had written letters to authorities. or had letters printed in the newspaper expressing an opinion regarding some issue bearing on the church --or due to absence of official church public witness in the Fort Worth community.
# As appropriate, we as a group and as individuals continue to address or to carbon-copy the Papal Legate in Washington DC, to document our concerns.

4., Self-development deserves acknowledgement as an on-going project. These three articles distributed and talked over at meetings indicate the range of our interests:
# “Is religion the biggest problem facing feminism today?” –Christine Schenk. (Feminism: the radical notion that women are people.)
# A Commonweal interview of cardinal Walter Kaspar, “Merciful God, Merciful Church.”
# Fortune magazine’s feature, “Holy Reformer: How Pope Francis plans to restructure the Vatican’s scandal-plagued finances and generate more money for the church.”

5., Retreat. Finally, each Spring, our membership goes on retreat to a hill top ranch near Benbrook for a day, to enjoy the natural setting and one another’s company, to examine our fidelity to our mission statement, to plot our course, to rededicate ourselves with thanks and praise to the Holy Trinity as is right and just--to use the familiar words of the liturgy.