So to prepare for our parish’s 75th Anniversary next year, we recently held a ministry fair to try and increase parishioner’s involvement. We wanted to advertise our existing ministries (Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, Ushers, Knights of Columbus, etc) and try and generate interest in some of our new ministries (Outreach, Bereavement, etc).
Prior to the fair, I didn’t belong to any of the ministries and was not involved at all in the church. I ended up volunteering to help out at the concession stand and by the end of the fair, I had signed up for 7 different ministries (Lector, Eucharistic Minister, Usher, K of C, St. Vincent DePaul Society, Outreach, and Holy Name Society)
The center table at the fair had nothing on it except a suggestion box. People could fill out a slip and say what kind of ministries they would like to see started. So I suggested a Catholic Apologetics Ministry where people could learn how to explain and defend Catholic Faith and Doctrine.
A few weeks later I went to the first Outreach Program meeting, and both the Monsignor, Msgr. Thelen, and the coordinator, Fr. Colamaria, were in attendance. It turns out that earlier this year, The Brooklyn/Queens Diocese made every parish fill out a survey of needed ministries. The diocese compiled the results and released the top 10. The number one item on the list was Youth ministries, followed by Evangelization ministries, followed by Outreach programs (the last being the reason we started one in our church).
Fr. Colamaria briefly talked about the top 3, How our Youth Ministry is already doing very well, how they are working out how to start an evangelization ministry, and how the third item is the reason we were sitting there that evening. What caught my attention was how he mentioned that the evangelization ministry wouldn’t just focus on evangelizing non-Catholics, but would also focus on “Evangelizing from within”, helping to strengthen existing Catholics faiths. To me it sounded a lot like Apologetics.
So to make an already long story less long, after the outreach meeting, Msgr. Thelen, Fr. Colamaria and I discussed my suggestion and before I realized what I had gotten myself into, I was put in charge of the Apologetics Ministry. We aren’t going to start anything until January, but I will be in charge of everything; organizing discussion topics, getting people to come, scheduling the meetings, etc.
I’m very excited about this but I’m also really scared. I only started really understanding the Catholic faith about the same time I joined these forums (under qualified), and on top of that I’ve never been active in the church (no one knows me). I’m pretty much relying completely on the Holy Spirit to guide me in this new endeavor.
So wish me luck, and please keep my future ministry and me in your prayers!