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Accompaniment Event Reflection

Written by facilitators Brenna and Geoffrey

In late January we hosted our learning event focused on the Artform of Accompaniment. Brenna and Geoffrey reflect below on lessons and learnings from that event. 

Trust the Process: A Journey of Connection and Transformation

This past January, a gathering took place at Augsburg University, marking the beginning of an extraordinary journey for our congregations. We embarked on a path to explore and embody the art of accompaniment, a journey aimed at not just knowing about the neighbor, actually knowing the neighbor, and unraveling a new way of being church in the world.

The Essence of Accompaniment

Accompaniment, the first of four art forms we dive into, challenges us to not just know about our neighbors but to actually really know them—to see their essence. This deep understanding is fundamental, setting the stage for the upcoming art forms of interpretation, discernment, and proclamation. Our learning event was more than an educational endeavor; it was an invitation to transform how we interact and perceive the people around us.

The Power of Practice

A pivotal aspect of our gathering was the emphasis on practicing accompaniment through one-to-ones. That’s when I really saw the importance of cultivating these connections and practice among ourselves.

During a lunchtime exercise, participants paired up with someone from a different congregation, someone they didn’t know, and then embark on a journey of discovering the essence of each other. The simple act of asking questions and just listening unveiled the profound impact of hearing and sharing stories. Returning from the exercise, the air was filled with laughter, smiles, and a sense of connection. This practice, as many reflected, was the highlight of the day, underscoring the simplicity and inspiration found in truly meeting someone new and authentically connecting.

Creating a New World Together

This event was not just about learning; it was about preparing to build a new world together. The question, “when my world and your world collide, what happens now?” captures the essence of our mission. We are preparing to step out of our comfort zones, to listen and share stories, to connect our narratives with those of our neighbors. This is the groundwork for a new world—a world as intended by God.

The overarching vision of our journey is rooted in the belief that we are created for connection. It’s our stories with those of our neighbors that we find the blueprint for this new world. Through connecting, listening, and truly hearing, we step into a realm of mutual understanding and empathy. This connection goes beyond mere interaction; it’s about engaging with stories on a deeper, heart level, being with and allowing the stories to move and transform us from within.

A Transformed Perspective

The learning event taught us that true connection involves more than just knowing each other’s stories; it’s about letting those stories resonate within us, altering our worldview, our thinking, and how we engage with the world. This process of connection with others, leaning into their story, and allowing it to transform our mind and heart is what prepares us to embrace a new perspective, living in a world that we’ve collectively reimagined.

As we continue on this journey, we continue leaning into the knowledge that our shared stories and connections are not just pathways to understanding but the very fabric of the new world we seek to create together