THE SEQUEL IS HERE!
No one had to wait too long for the sequel to the most recent message series called THE GAME PLAN to take place. The sequel or continuation of the series is most appropriately called — THE GAME PLAN: PART II. This is a continuation of the new pastoral plan and vision for our family of parishes that has been supported by the Family Pastoral Council, Family Finance Committee and Family Staff. We have reflected over the past year looking at the opportunities, challenges and the post-pandemic world seeking the most effective and dynamic way to change the world—by forming disciples who reach out to all.
If you missed any of the previous message series, simply go to the link for part two and you will find a button that will send you to the first series. There I preached about the two pillars (forming disciples & reaching out to all) and the Six Qualities of a Faithful Disciple which will help shape, restore, evolve and spark our ministries, programs and outreach.
WHERE THE RUBBER HITS THE ROAD
The transition to our long term pastoral plan will take a lot of work and time. We need to change the culture and mentality within the Church before we can go out into the world. We need to re-focus on becoming disciples and understanding our call to live out the Good News! This will take time and require prayer, reflection, change and of course, action. This second part of the GAME PLAN message series seeks to share how over the next four years we slowly layer or activate the plan in some more practical terms, embracing particular themes—which hopefully leads us to conversion and renewal as a family of parishes and beyond. It’s like putting on a new set of tires so that we can travel towards the Kingdom of Heaven.
(1) FAMILY & WELCOME
Last Sunday, in the first homily of THE GAME PLAN PART II—I shared that we would begin the time of transition and renewal with a year dedicated to forming a greater sense of community, getting to know one another and re-establishing the importance of welcome and hospitality. The pandemic certainly disrupted the continued work of the family of parishes and the ability to build relationships with one another and the five churches of our family. It is crucial that we strengthen our connections with one another. I have heard from so many people over the months at various events, that it is good to spend time with people again. When we get to know one another, we value one another more and invest in supporting, accompanying and helping each other. This is crucial for the journey ahead and a hallmark of a faith community.
As we seek to reach out to others to join us as a family of parishes—we need to be open, welcoming and offer genuine hospitality—making everyone feel at home and included. This is not an easy task and is something that we strive for each and everyday. If we are true hosts, taking the time to encounter and engage one another, we truly become family.
This has already started as we have many different ministries that are building a sense of community. This includes our family movie nights, faith movie series, the Good Place Café, Halloween family event, Advent Family Night & Hayride (which is coming back this year), parish breakfasts, Knights & CWL gatherings with more to come. This year will be focused on getting to know one another again.
(2) PRAYER & CONVERSION
This weekend I am sharing the second wheel of our transition that will focus on the call of getting to know Christ more and more. This second year will focus on prayer and conversion opportunities to build our relationship with Jesus, our Lord and Master. This is essential if we are going to be his disciples and messengers of the Good News. Jesus must be at the core and centre of our lives.
In this year we will introduce more prayer opportunities, retreats and scripture reflections as a way for all of us to experience the love, mercy and joy of Jesus. We will do this together as a faith family and individually building up our spiritual lives so that we have the courage to share the Gospel.
All of this will take time and require each of us to commit ourselves as much as possible to each other and where the Lord wants to lead us. I know Jesus will joyfully surprise us on the road ahead.