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Encounters are an opportunity for us to listen to people’s stories and experiences. We hear the sharing of their experiences, their hopes and dreams, and of the spirituality which informs their attitudes, values, hopes and approach to life. Encounters should be marked by respect and humility. It is a privilege to accompany our sisters and brothers in their struggle for justice and dignity. It is Jesus who sends us to meet with them. It is Jesus who is in their midst when we meet with them. It is Jesus himself whom we serve when we serve them ( Matthew 25:31-46)

Plans and programs for action should not be developed prior to encounters with the people and communities involved. Rather, we should understand that building trust and discerning a way forward take patience and time. Preference should be given to encounters with those who experience marginalisation, oppression and injustice. We learn about God and being human before God through these encounters. When working together, we should be mindful that working for justice may be overwhelming as there is an element of grappling with people’s sorrow and despair. We need to give attention to self-care. It is vital for us to respond actively to our own wellbeing as well as to the wellbeing of those we accompany.

Resources on Encounter

title slide for Planning Next Steps for Cherbourg video
Planning Next Steps for Cherbourg

title slide for Praying About Cherbourg video
Praying About Cherbourg

Opening slide of Yarning About Cherbourg video
Yarning About Cherbourg

Prayer – Encounter

This prayer is featured in the praying with scripture resource and reflects the pastoral theme of En…

Sharing Our Stories – Encounter

This video discussion shows a conversation on the pastoral theme of Encounter and what it means afte…

Encounter. Praying with Scripture.
Praying with Scripture – Encounter

This prayer sheet provides a process for praying together with Scripture on the theme of encounter. …