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  #1  
Old Jul 12, '12, 9:41 pm
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PeterJohn PeterJohn is offline
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Default Evangelizing. Start in your parish!

Greetings. God bless you for being interested in evangelization. Ive been studying evangelization since lent and I've come to understand it in a lot of new ways.
Like Popes our PJPII and Benedict XVI have called us to evangelize each other. And that evangelization starts in your parish, and in the context of friendship.
I've stated in another post that the early early church held fast to 4 things, that we only hold fast to 3. ACTS 2:42-They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

We as Catholics pary. We break bread every Sunday. We also have the apostles teachings still. But we don't seem to be devoting ourselves to fellowship. If we look at the success of evangelical Mega churches, they seem to be dialed right into fellowship, with lots of Activites throughout the week. Bible studies. Men's groups. Women's groups. Youth events. Picnics. Cookouts. Ice cream socials. Book clubs. Coffee socials after their Sunday services. And lots lots more that's worth researching. they also have tons of support groups too. Like legal support groups led by lawyers in the congregation. Support groups for women by women. And so on. We are called to share our gifts with one another.

Chew on that. Call your parish office, volunteer to start these Activites if they aren't already happening. If they are, attend. Devote yourself! This is evangelization friends! God bless!
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  #2  
Old Jul 13, '12, 12:06 am
lssanjose lssanjose is offline
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Default Re: Evangelizing. Start in your parish!

All fine, and dandy. But, I think we can't force the issue. I'm sure people are still turned off by all the fire, and brimstone. I know I was, right after I left the Church, and organized religion years ago. I think the most important way, as St. Theophan The Recluse so aptly put it, "apply what you read." Or, in the Eastern circles regarding theology; and what it means to be a theologian, "live your faith." Show it through your conduct. People will, somehow be attracted to this vibe you give. Particularly when you arrive at that point of peace within yourself, and your abundant faith in God, and His providence.
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  #3  
Old Jul 13, '12, 6:12 am
trials trials is offline
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Default Re: Evangelizing. Start in your parish!

Your vision is a lovely one for evangelising within a parish, and I would love to be part of a parish like that.

The only thing is, and this is a genuine question, how can one overcome the cliques that exist in parishes? At least there are very visible ones in our parish. There are a select few that are involved in everything, and huge resistance to anyone who tries to start something in the parish. I'm speaking from experience here - I was doing a theology course that had a required element of starting something in my parish, otherwise I wouldn't have done anything. But it was an uphill struggle all the way, real resistance from the powers that be that I would even dare suggesting starting up something. And it was only 4 simple evening sessions on prayer - end of story, I only needed a room and that was it, I wasn't asking to move mountains.

Another element I noticed was that there was a resistance to starting anything spiritual. I mean, why should we be going to Church - to progress in holiness right? But the cliques I encountered were more than happy to commandeer cake sales, community fun days, parish social events that bring a greater community bond - and of course that's important - but there was and still is zero interest in anything that might help us progress in our faith.

I'm not shouting you down, even though my post is full of negativity, I too would love to be a part of the healthy apostolic parish you describe, but I'm asking genuinely, what do you do to overcome the above obstacles? Lack of interest in spiritual progression, and well-established cliques who equate holiness with being involved in every parish committee going? Is this just my parish or is this widespread?
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  #4  
Old Jul 13, '12, 1:43 pm
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Default Re: Evangelizing. Start in your parish!

Quote:
Originally Posted by trials View Post
Your vision is a lovely one for evangelising within a parish, and I would love to be part of a parish like that.

The only thing is, and this is a genuine question, how can one overcome the cliques that exist in parishes? At least there are very visible ones in our parish. There are a select few that are involved in everything, and huge resistance to anyone who tries to start something in the parish. I'm speaking from experience here - I was doing a theology course that had a required element of starting something in my parish, otherwise I wouldn't have done anything. But it was an uphill struggle all the way, real resistance from the powers that be that I would even dare suggesting starting up something. And it was only 4 simple evening sessions on prayer - end of story, I only needed a room and that was it, I wasn't asking to move mountains.

Another element I noticed was that there was a resistance to starting anything spiritual. I mean, why should we be going to Church - to progress in holiness right? But the cliques I encountered were more than happy to commandeer cake sales, community fun days, parish social events that bring a greater community bond - and of course that's important - but there was and still is zero interest in anything that might help us progress in our faith.

I'm not shouting you down, even though my post is full of negativity, I too would love to be a part of the healthy apostolic parish you describe, but I'm asking genuinely, what do you do to overcome the above obstacles? Lack of interest in spiritual progression, and well-established cliques who equate holiness with being involved in every parish committee going? Is this just my parish or is this widespread?
Ignore negativity. Nothing's bonds people together more then working as a team.
The cliques are no obstacle when the pastor is on your team.
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  #5  
Old Jul 13, '12, 2:48 pm
Lady Love Lady Love is offline
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Default Re: Evangelizing. Start in your parish!

I think one of the BEST ways to really build up a parish is through music. More talent and time needs to be dedicated to the music ministry. The music can affect emotions in a good or a bad way. Music is enjoyable and it can relay a message like nothing else can. It can encourage a sense of joy, a sense of closeness to God, a sense of solemnity etc. Music is a language all it own.

My fiance just recently re-verted to the church and took on the music director position. The numbers in the church are going up and people are coming from all around. Even the parish contributions have increased ever since he started playing. He is a man full of joy, extremely generous and passionate about the music. He has the courage to break away from the stiff, dry, drowsy, old music and add some flare. Everyone loves it and looks forward to going to church these days. He mixes it up with gospel type songs, classic songs, modern songs and even some chanting songs. He makes the Mass come alive which to me is more fitting for the King of Kings. Sometimes I think the lack of enthusiasm in delivering music is sometimes sinful, even a mockery.

I think an investment into young children with natural gifts toward music should be implemented immediately! Ten years from now music could transform the Mass experience. When reading on Liturgical Music, I discovered that music in Mass is second to the consecration in importance, because of it's profound affect on people.

Music lifts the spirit up to God!
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  #6  
Old Jul 16, '12, 6:48 pm
rebecca123 rebecca123 is offline
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Default Re: Evangelizing. Start in your parish!

I think music is a great idea. Many people are gifted this way and good music is such a blessing to any parish.

The clique problem is very real.

I think one thing that some of the protestant sects do right that we can learn something from is their committment to outreach. Reaching out to others in the community or elsewhere who are not yet christian or catholic can be a very bonding experience. It's always dinners, bake sales, raffles, plays, etc. with the same people attending most of the time and then posting their pictures in the bulletin. but maybe some outreach activities to attract others to the church would help to bond together other people in the parish as well with a common love for the lost.

Yes, spiritual activities such as Bible studies and adult formation are very needed in our parish as well. I just think there isn't much interest.
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  #7  
Old Jul 16, '12, 7:36 pm
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PeterJohn PeterJohn is offline
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Default Re: Evangelizing. Start in your parish!

Rebecca123 good input!

Music is important. It can lift the soul as well as move us emotionally. Like we say in the mass "lift up your hearts!"
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  #8  
Old Jul 19, '12, 2:57 pm
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haastiin haastiin is offline
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Default Re: Evangelizing. Start in your parish!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterJohn View Post
Ignore negativity. Nothing's bonds people together more then working as a team.
The cliques are no obstacle when the pastor is on your team.
Unless "your team" is the central clique. Every organization has an In-Group - the people who make things happen. Every organization also has an In-er Group - the people who are more "IN" than the In-Group.

The challenge is to turn the natural societal groupings into outward-looking instead of inward-looking cliques. The church is commissioned to and teaches outreach ("go out into all the world...") but many parishes miss out on in-reach - koinonia in Acts - which is an idealistic expression of the zeal for perfected communion oneness with God through Oneness with each other.

I have seen and even served in parishes where the priest is the benevolent (or sometimes not-so-benevolent) despot and his vassals in his fiefdom are as unapproachable as he. In one protracted series of "oh-no" moments, a certain priest said he would not be using the prayers written into the liturgy because it was like "reading to God, and God would rather hear from us what is in our hearts."

OK, I get where that's coming from but it pretty well bypasses the idea of catholic as in "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic." One of the zillions of things that make the church catholic is that we all do the same thing together 24/7/365 with minimal variation (especially now that English-speaking liturgies have been realigned). We don't go to Mass to hear the priest pray his own heart-felt prayers. We go to Mass to be in communion koinonia with our brothers and sisters in the building as well as with our brothers and sisters in The Catholic Church.

Way, way too many of us are more concerned about getting out of church on time so we can get home and worship at our family altar especially on Sundays to the great cyclopean god via ESPN. Sometimes our Cyclops completely displaces worship, adoration, thanksgiving, praise and yes we replace all that with "fellowship" which is not koinonia but philadelphia "brotherly love," camaraderie, a common substitute for the Real Deal.

Recommitted hearts that desire Faith and Godliness above all else will lead the cyclopians back to church every Sunday, hopefully with families in tow, and also serve as the foundation for the discernment required to see that there are too many Pharisees at mass and too few self-avowed sinners led to repentance by the support of commitments held in common for the perfection of their Communion.
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  #9  
Old Jul 20, '12, 12:33 pm
lynnettejane lynnettejane is offline
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Default Re: Evangelizing. Start in your parish!

How do we evangelise a sleeping parish. By that I mean a long established and somewhat ageing
parish, set in its ways with very few children or young people. We have a new young priest now who has started a Children's Liturgy of the Word and RCIA. He is very much a delegator with a firm belief that we are all living stones and have something to give, so I suppose that is a good start, but how do we encourage people to listen to the Holy Spirit and allow him to work in us as a community. These are lovely and faithful peple and like me have their faults and failings but they have so much to give,so much wisdom and experience to share. Please will you pray for St Mary's on the Sea in Lincolnshire, that the Holy Spirit will be allowed to work in the community, I would be really grateful, because prayer is what is needed.
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  #10  
Old Jul 20, '12, 2:06 pm
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haastiin haastiin is offline
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Default Re: Evangelizing. Start in your parish!

Your new young priest and your core supporters can help reignite the Fire by turning attention to all the reasons to be grateful for the plenitude of God's gifts. Grateful Hearts Create New Starts. I think when a parish begins really focusing on giving thanks for the blessing bestowed on individuals and the parish as a whole, the call to stewardship of those gifts become more productive. When the people are happy with the status quo, I think complacency seeps in. We get used to being and feeling blessed. Most likely the fire has not gone out, but the coals are banked and ready to be fanned into new warmth. You are right to call on the Holy Spirit - remember Emmaus and you will remember when hearts did burn and that fire rekindles.
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  #11  
Old Jul 22, '12, 2:36 pm
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PeterJohn PeterJohn is offline
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Default Re: Evangelizing. Start in your parish!

As far as cliques are concerned, our priest and I hand pick the first few members of the committee from within a few of these established cliques.
In regaurds to hastiin's comment, I believe he is right. Being grateful for what gifts of the holy spirit we have is important to the parish as a whole. The gifts are ment for edifying the church.
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