– by Nancy Wiens, Sister Parish board of directors (May 11, 2018)
Marshmallow Challenge, anyone? Building a structurally-sound tower out of spaghetti, marshmallows and tape was the first order of business during a team-building exercise at the board’s April two-day meeting in Minneapolis, MN. By attempting experimental build techniques, observing successes (and failures!) and then using our learning to make refinements, we created innovative Eiffel-tower-like structures.
Throughout the meeting we applied that same spirit of “create>refine>improve” as we assessed challenges and explored strategies and actions that will guide Sister Parish into the future. The board’s role is to support the Executive Director and staff in leading the organization; assessing and upholding our mission and vision; and discussing topics around our organization’s well-being and growth.
The meeting was hosted by Saint Joan of Arc Catholic Community, which enjoys a 24-year hermanamiento with Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Tierra Nueva Dos, Guatemala. The SJA community provided meeting space, host families, childcare facilities for meeting attendees’ babies, meals, fellowship, worship and prayer.
The well-attended potluck gathering on Saturday night attracted local Sister Parish friends as well as those from Sister Parish communities in Rochester, Decorah and West Fargo. We heard updates from former board members and moving stories about the long-term impact of Sister Parish from co-founder Vicki Schmidt.
This was a meeting at which it felt like the past, present and future came together. As we discussed how the mission and vision of the Sister Parish organization continue to sustain us and carry us forward, the nearby babies were a visible reminder of our future. We were also able to benefit from the words and stories of former and current board members and delegates as well as co-founder Vicki, who reminded us that the need for and benefits of Sister Parish are the same today as they were 30 years ago.
I, along with the entire board, extend an open hand and warm invitation to anyone who may be interested in serving on the board of directors of Sister Parish. We are currently looking for people to join us and support our mission of connecting communities across borders. If you want to learn more about this opportunity, contact Carrie at firstname.lastname@example.org.