Associates Meetings for 2019:  
Saturday 19th October to be held at Selly Park  
Associates Day Saturday 15th June 2019  
Corpus Christi Convent, Coventry  
After a week of more or less constant rain, a joy-filled Associate Day was much needed to bring a little metaphorical sunshine back into our lives. As always, although the framework of the day was planned with great thought, it was left to the Spirit to lead us to where we needed to go. Our theme for the day was “Joy out of Anguish”, which at first seemed very challenging! 
After the initial catching up with friends that we hadn’t seen for a while and sharing what has been happening in our lives since we last met, we divided into two groups and each person was given an exquisite handmade lily. We were asked to discuss times in our lives when anguish had turned into joy and write down these events on the back of our lily. At first this seemed like an impossible task and we had difficulty getting past the really obvious example of childbirth! But after some thought a whole variety of situations came to mind including illness, bereavement, retirement, loss of opportunities, family disappointments and so much more. All these things, while awful at the time, often led to new opportunities, greater appreciation of life, deep and lasting friendships and a different perspective on life and all the joys it can bring. The hard part is to trust that God will use the anguish filled moments of our lives to lead us to a better place where a deeper sense of joy and purpose can be found. We all agreed that we rarely see this at the time and it’s often only when we look back that we can see the hand of the Lord in our lives. 
After listening to a haunting and soul-filled rendition of “Amazing Grace” we broke for lunch. Sharing a meal is always one of the most enjoyable parts of the day, as it is when we are most relaxed and there is always plenty of story-telling and laughter to be had. 
After lunch we entered into Lectio Divina with the Gospel for Trinity Sunday, John 16:12-15. As always different words and phrases of the Gospel touched different people in different ways. It is always amazing how the Spirit moves amongst us. However there was one phrase that seemed to touch us all: 
“I still have many things to say to you but they would be too much for you now”. 
We are all impatient and want to know God’s plans for us now. But God’s time isn’t our time. Only he knows when we are ready for the next stage. We all agreed looking back if we had known beforehand some of the things that we would have to face in our lives we would have given up long before we had even started! Many felt that there was great comfort in the fact that the Lord still has many things to say to us – when the time is right. 
We ended on a very joyful note with a rousing rendition of “Oh Happy Day”, and we all left on our separate journeys home filled with the Spirit of Joy even though it had started raining again. 
Many thanks to Sr Anne Cunningham at Corpus Christi for her hospitality and making us feel so welcome and at home. 
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