co-reviewed by Maureen Wild and Del McCarthy

Francis facttor participantsThe Francis Factor was a special 2016 event hosted by GES at Gabriola’s United Church on Jan 20th, during the week of prayer for Christian Unity.

A truly interfaith audience of  30-40 people, everyone was keenly interested in Pope Francis’ message Care of Our Common Home (his recently published encyclical on the earth Laudato Si’).

ndrewRev. Andrew Twiddy of Parksville’s Anglican parish St. Anne and St. Edmund, was our guest presenter and gifted storyteller.  He spoke about the topic of transformational change by first sharing his own personal story of change.  He then invited us to look at the life and work of Pope Francis, and his inspiration, St. Francis of Assisi.

Andrew, himself, had a rich legacy with Franciscan influences in his life and a love of Franciscan spirituality with deeply formative soul experiences guided by Richard Rohr, OFM. With these wonderful examples before us, Andrew encouraged and inspired us to be the change being called for.

Andrew shared observations, stories and experiences from his fall pilgrimage and one-week focused study in Rome. He invited us to raise questions about implications of ‘the Francis effect’ for living in right relationship with earth.

In response to a question relating Pope Francis’ ethic of care for earth and mitigating climate change, to our using earth for our needs and how do we balance this … he shared the analogy (and challenge) of running all four bases in our living and being:

Base 1:  The faithful hands-on recycling that we do

Base 2:  Putting the WHOLE before the smaller parts; thinking of the generations to follow us and advocating for climate justice

Base 3:  Bringing our input and output into balance; using only what we need; practice living simply

Base 4:  (i.e. home run!) Full conversion to integral awareness (ecology) and unitive consciousness; a fully engaged pilgrimage of the heart

At the end, many stayed on to chat with Andrew and to visit and converse with one another over tea or coffee and a bag lunch.

Lenten Retreat

Andrew then  invited us to attend a Lenten retreat he is leading at St.Edmund’s, Parksville  St.Francis and Pope Francis Changing the World with a Unitive Consciousness & an Integral Ecology.  where there will be presentations, dialogue, and stories of transformational change as well as sessions from a webcast with RC Franciscan priest Richard Rohr.

The retreat will occur on 4 Tuesdays:
Feb 16  to Mar 15 from 10.15 am – 12.15 pm