On Wednesday August 1 we hosted our “Fireside Chat” celebration event. The event served to thank all those who hosted or attended the chats and provided their honest observations and opinions about the current state of the parish. Participants were provided a summary of those observations and opinions as well as the next steps for our parish at the celebration event.
This is an exciting time for our parish. God our Father continually helps us in every area of our lives and He wants to do that in our parish. He has big plans for our parish and the Goshen community. Those plans started this past year with the formation of the spiritual development committee to oversee the spiritual growth of our parish. It was the spiritual development committee who initiated the fireside chats for this summer. This coming year the committee will spend time and energy to develop a simple but strategic plan to help our parish, individually and as a whole, to move closer to Jesus.
There are some other initiatives this coming year that will help us begin the process of moving us closer to Jesus. The first is adult formation. The fireside chats have shown us unequivocally that there are adults in our parish who are hungry for growth. One of the main themes if not the main theme of the chats was the lack of initiatives for adult spiritual growth.
We would like to start providing the opportunity for growth for those who have a desire for it. We have already met with some young adults to start a young adult group in our parish. We have met with some couples who are ready to start a small group of fellowship and prayer. We’d love to develop more for all stages of our parishioners.
The best way for an adult to get involved in is to meet with me Attila Valentiny, our Director of Evangelization, to get a sense of your spiritual needs and the best way the parish can serve those needs. You can reach me by calling the office at 574-533-3385 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Even better, just stop and talk to me whenever you see me!
The other main initiative for this upcoming year is prayer. Increasing the amount of prayer in individual parishioners and our parish groups as a whole is a priority. The truth is prayer is one of our main sources of growth as Catholic Christians. The first prayer initiative is to implement prayer in our parish groups. An invitation will go to all our parish groups to begin their meetings, events, sessions, etc. with prayer. This will allow God to be the center of all we say and do. This should bear immediate fruit.
The second prayer initiative is to grow prayer in the daily life of our parishioners. Four Saturday mornings of recollection will be hosted throughout the year with a focus on prayer. Also, prayer will be regularly referenced in homilies. During the season of Lent, the parish will embark on the 1% challenge. This challenge is simple. We all have the same amount of time in everyday, 1440 minutes to be precise. 15 minutes equals only 1% of your day. All parishioners will be invited to give 1% of their day to God in prayer. Additionally, the annual Lenten series will go in depth on prayer and specific prayer methods to enhance your relationship with God. Parish and individual renewal cannot happen without prayer.
Lastly, we will be forming an intercessory prayer team. This team will be praying for the renewal of our parish, including all the initiatives coming up in our parish. They will stay in regular contact with parish leadership, listen to the Lord and His will for the parish, and discern and pray against negative attitudes and spirits that have creeped into our parish life. If you would be interested in joining this team, please let me know! We will be starting soon!
We hope you will join in these initiatives during the year. The initiatives will accomplish the goal of helping you and our parish grow closer to Jesus our Lord, Savior and Redeemer. God has big plans for our parish!
In Christ’s Joy
Director of Evangelization