regions website picTaking a page out of the younger sisters play book, the elected leaders of congregations in the US Federation of the Sisters of St Joseph connected their annual regional meetings by videoconferencing to enable a Federation-wide discussion by leaders on potential reserved powers that leaders would hold in our new Federation structure.
 
A group of current and former leaders has been meeting since February to develop a draft set of reserved powers. Reserved powers are the authority for certain decision making that a group has for a larger group. The committee composed of Anne Myers, Mary Lou Mitchell (co-chairs), Mary Ann Doyle, Kit Gray, Ginny Maitland, and Jean Wincek prepared the draft reserved powers and a presentation to explain their work.
 
Heartland Region gathers for videoconference with the other regionsSr. Pat Bergen, participating from St. Paul, Minnesota described the experience, “It was obvious that the committee had done lots of work. Their draft was really good. They had thought of most things. We gained clarity about what might be reserved powers and what could be in the by-laws. The Reserved Powers Committee expressed their gratitude for the input they received from the regions. It was good to have the regions meet at the same time. There was time for sharing in our own region and then the regional exchange helped everyone feel comfortable. You got a sense of the ownership of the whole, everyone, all the leaders were in this together. The timing for regional discussions [through break-out rooms] and meetings of the whole worked well. Having the committee present on the videoconference allowed the leaders to understand what they had proposed and to learn from their wisdom and prior thought. This new way of holding meetings in between our face-to-face meetings provides a way to gather about important issues. It is much better than responding as congregational teams.”
 
Committee members reflecting on the video conference offered the following: Sr. Mary Lou Mitchell shared, “It was great to receive input from across the country all at once.” Sr Ginny Maitland said, “We received some good suggestions.” Sr. Jean Wincek noted “I think people felt heard and grateful to give input early in the process.”