Aberdeen Presentation Sisters Create New Ways to Stay Connected

Being in service in an important part of who we are. COVID has challenged us all as we find new ways of being present to the needs of the people. When we chose our theme of Hope for 2020, we had no idea of the test that was to come, as we live into deeper relationship with it each day. This intentional focus of hope has been a gift to us. Our sisters and employees are doing well and we are grateful. Like many places, we have been sheltering in place for nearly two months, with many employees working from home. The new life that we are seeing is uplifting, as new connections are emerging, as we experience smaller physical circles with our expansive solidarity plan in place. Below are some ways we have adjusted to be in service as we continue to be present and provide hope to others.

Our Health System, Avera, put a call out for homemade face masks. They provided the pattern and several sisters stepped in to make them. To date we have made hundreds and given them to all of our sisters, employees working at the convent and to Avera. (https://www.siouxfalls.business/sisters-service-averas-handmade-masks-carry-extra-meaning/)

One of our new internal communications that was created is referred to as the What’s Up Wednesday. This two-page newsletter gets emailed out to all sisters, cojourners and employees each week. It consists of a prayer, resources or tips to reduce anxiety / encourage hope, a small weekly challenge and then highlights fun photos of sisters, cojourners or employees to help us feel connected. See an example here: What’s Up Wednesday – May 6.

An Easter day car parade at the convent was organized and many smiles shared as employees drove around the property and sisters come outside to enjoy together. There was a lot of positive feedback from this and looking to organize another one soon. We also continue to hear stories from sisters in how they are staying connected through technology. This short video highlights the parade and staying connected to Presentation College Students.

This winter we started gathering employees monthly for Hope Provider meetings, sharing in mission together as we have a little fun. This paused as we addressed steps to keep our sisters and employees safer due to COVID. We gathered the employees via Zoom again for Cinco de Mayo and the response was wonderful. We had fun, but also had space for a deeper sharing together around grief and loss. We are working on continuing these monthly gatherings to strengthen our teams in an uncertain time as we remain connected as a Presentation Family.