Today is back to school for all of our students in the Goshen Community! In the coming weeks, neighboring districts will begin their first days of school. Everyone is getting back into a routine of life. We are here at St. John's. Religious Education starts this week, and youth ministry for middle school and high school students will host their first sessions of the year. Events for adults will begin on Saturday, August 17.
Our theme for the year is "God Is." Specifically, God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. After prayer and discussion, we think taking time to focus our events around the three persons of God is the best course of action, especially after our theme last year on prayer. Our primary goal in life is to be in a profoundly intimate relationship with God. He made us for that purpose. Our identity as human beings in life is that we are sons and daughters of God. We are sisters and brothers in Jesus Christ. For us to be successful in the goal of an intimate relationship with God and to embrace our true identity, we have to know who God is. We have to understand the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit on a personal level.
Many things in our life and world have prevented us from fully understanding who God is. Sin is the main culprit. Sin has warped our relationship with God. Some of us believe that we have to earn God's love by being a good person to be in right relationship with Him. Some see God as distant, someone who doesn't care about the joys and struggles of our lives. Some believe God to be benevolent, looking for any opportunity to judge us and send us to Hell. Some believe God doesn't exist.
This year, we want to help all of us come to a real understanding of God. We want to know who God is entirely. 1 John 4:16 says, "We have come to know and believe in the love God has for us." God loves us. God doesn't need us in any way. Nothing is missing in God's life. God created us to share Himself and His love with us. That is true love. God loves us. The more we know the depth of God's love for us, the better we can succeed in our goal to be in a deep relationship with Him.
That's it! That's our theme for the year. To explore who God is so we can be in a deep, intimate, and personal relationship with Him. As our graphic indicates, we will explore God the Father through our Men's Recollection on August 17 and our Women's Recollection on November 16. We will dedicate our Lenten Series to the Son, Jesus Christ. Our Lenten Series will take place over the five Tuesdays in March. We will come to know the Holy Spirit during our Family Recollection on February 29 and a Recollection (open to anyone) on May 16. You will hear Fr. Royce and Fr. Jose reference the three persons of God throughout the year in their sermons. It's going to be a fantastic year, and we hope you will join us! God Bless!