Putting Out Into the Deep

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Fishing with cast net from a boat near Kozhikode Beach, IndiaIn James Martin’s, Jesus: A Pilgrimage, he reflects upon Jesus stepping into Simon’s boat and asking him to “put out a little way” so Jesus can better address the crowds that are pressing the shoreline to hear him. Simon was wrapping up a long night of unsuccessful fishing and must have been tired and frustrated.  But he obliges, and after Jesus finishes, He tells Simon to ‘put out into the deep’ to lower his nets. What? The preacher knows better than the professional angler? Peter was fortunately humble enough to honor the request. And … cue up “miracle music” … the fishing nets fill to the point of breaking!1

There is something to be said for giving it a second look even though you think you know the waters well, for letting circumstances open you to new possibilities.

In the April issue of The Associate, Jeanne Connolly described the portion of our recent Board meeting that included representatives from the National Religious Vocations Conference (NRVC), Religious Formation Conference (RFC), and the Leadership Collaborative, whom she welcomed by saying: “… everything is open for conversation with the understanding that we firmly believe that God is serious about the future of the associate way of life and because we … serve associate leaders and prospective leaders …. we want to further this form of Gospel life, not to the exclusion of other forms, but in relationship with and in collaboration with others.”

We’ll do precisely that—serve our associate leaders, all hands on deck for the next year with no diminishment in NACAR service. So when you receive your membership renewal notice this month, be assured that your investment secures all upon which you rely—information, connection, and inspiration.

We appreciate you who have affirmed and creatively responded to our honest assessments and requests for committee members and financial assistance. We NACAR Board members continue to cast our nets seeking collaborative possibilities to ensure that NACAR continues to serve and promote associate life in the years ahead. As Jeanne indicated in her December 5, 2019 letter, we pledge to share the results of our futuring work with you by March 2021.

Now is not the time to hold back a single spark of an idea as we navigate these deep and compelling waters together. We rely upon each of you to share what you see from bow and stern, port and starboard, to discover that to which God now invites us.


Participants of our March Creative Conversation on Grief and Loss asked that we invite our NACAR members to share meaningful rituals to help transition through grief. Do you have a ritual you can share? If so, please contact us so others may benefit—thank you!


Thank you to our Supporting Members for joining us or renewing their annual membership!

Midwest Kindred Spirits (MKS), Intercongregational Associate Directors (IAD), Conference of Associates and Religious Midwest Area (CARMA), Bay Area Conference of Associates and Religious (BACAR), Religious Formation Conference (RFC), Leadership Collaborative


Membership Renewal Forms will be emailed to the Primary Contact for the Community and to all Individual Members during the month of May. Please watch for it!

We strongly suggest that your payment be made online this year with a credit card as it is not possible to get NACAR mail at this time.

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