LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW)- As 2020 comes to a close, the Franciscan Spirituality Center (FSC) offers community members support and comfort this New Years.
Audrey Lucier, director of the Franciscan Spirituality Center, believes January to be a season of hope during the cold winter months, as the days get longer and lighter. For Lucier, the start of the new year usually marks a time of resolutions and fresh starts.
Lucier believes this to be especially true this year. "It’s been a roller coaster of a year with a deadly pandemic and bitter racial unrest on top of the elections, and no doubt we are exhausted and want to put it all behind us," said Lucier.
However as 2020 ends, community members now find themselves in an unusual transition period. Lucier acknowledges that while the start of 2021 signifies change, many want to get back to the lives they once had a year ago.
"We are in liminal space right now. There’s a change underway, and there’s no going back to what was, but we haven’t yet come through to a new place," said Lucier.
To get through these unfamiliar times, Lucier seeks comfort in St. Paul’s advice to an ancient Christian community:
"No matter what’s going on around you, hold fast to the words that give life and be a light in the world" [Phil 2:14-16].
Lucier also reminds community members of the words that give life to FSC’s mission:
"In each of us lives the Sacred. We need each other. Paying attention to our spiritual needs leads to healing and peace. Each of us can contribute to the healing of all creation."
Lucier and FSC hope the New Year brings individuals healing, peace, and light. In addition, the organization provides the community with several resources to help supply comfort and support this New Years.
Individuals can find a video from FSC spiritual director Steve Spilde reading one of his favorite poems, The Map You Make Yourself.
Community members are also encouraged to attend the organization's second annual women's conference, Overcoming Challenges With Grit and Grace, on January 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The virtual conference focuses on celebrating faith, resilience and women, as the event features several female speakers. First, author Kao Kalia Yang will reflect on her spiritual journey into writing. Attendees will also hear from human trafficking survivor and advocate Lisa McCormick, as she touches on anti-human trafficking activism.
Carolyn Bostrack, corporate leader and author, is set to share her story of personal transformation. Finally, YMCA Health Director Sarah Johnson will cover the benefits of mindfulness.
All those who wish to attend can join the conference via Zoom. Attendees are required to pay a $50 registration fee. For details on how to sign up, visit the FSC website or call the organization at 608-791-5295.