Tuesday evening, September 6th, began, in many ways, just like all the other Tuesday evenings in our Kagawa Dining Room as we gathered for the meal which always precedes our weekly Napa Circles meetings. But the tenor of our time together changed immediately as we formed a circle of chairs large enough to include circle leaders, circle allies, and Guiding Coalition members. What we began to experience was the graduation of our first-ever circle leaders who’d been faithful to the classes and on-going support and encouragement offered by allies. One by one, circle leader and ally alike, began to give witness and testimony to the power these relationships have had as they bore fruit over the past eighteen months.
Tears began to flow as we realized the significant progress each circle leader had made in their achievements all the way from entering into a community college to graduating with an academic or technical degree to securing a real career job rather than a low-wage, service industry position. The tears of joy were symptomatic of the deeper spiritual fruit that had taken hold in members of what Director Barb Thompson referred to as our Napa Circles Family. The journey of each member had become one of moving from despair toward hope.
So no band playing Pomp & Circumstance, no processionals, no noise makers or confetti! Just a sense of well-being, perhaps best summarized by the term shalom. Who could have predicted just eighteen short months ago that this journey which began with the intrusion of disruptive relationships could result in such growth and transformation? Whether church member or not, you might want to plan on joining this Napa Circles Family as we prepare for our next launch on January 1, 2017!