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Walking together on the right path

By Lydia M

I grew up as a cradle Catholic in a very strict home in El Paso, Texas, with two wonderful parents who tried to raise my brother, my sister and me, the best they could. We went to church every Sunday but I lived a very worldly life. Even though I always believed there was a God, I only called on him when I needed him or when I needed something but I really didn’t have a relationship with Jesus. For some reason my friends thought that I was religious because I wasn’t involved in doing a lot of the bad things that they were involved in doing, and also because I was a member of my local church choir. But quite honestly, I just wanted to fit in with them.

What is the Sharing Your Faith Story Ministry?

by Nancy Ward

In 1 Peter 3:15-16a we find our inspiration, motivation, encouragement and mission statement: “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence.” (NABRE)

Why share your faith story?

  1. As baptized Christians we are anointed to be evangelists.
  2. Each of us is an unrepeatable expression of God’s presence in the world, with a unique story.
  3. The most effective method of evangelization is personal witness.
  4. We bring God’s presence to others through our story – and we bring them HOPE in a world that is losing hope.
  5. We encourage others tremendously—and ourselves because we are doing what we were created to do – proclaim the greatness of the Lord!
  6. Sharing our Faith Story is a big part of our continuous conversion that lasts a lifetime. Our story can be a big or little step in the continuous conversion of others.

Witness: Saved by Don Quixote

By Bill Alexander

From New Jersey to Texas, Bill recounts his transformation from a backward insecure child raised in a Protestant alcoholic family to a vibrant convert with a deep love for God.

I grew up in southern New Jersey, the fourth child of six. My parents were Protestants. I was baptized in the Methodist church at the age of 13 and had minimal religious training. We were a dysfunctional family because my father was an alcoholic. I reacted to his drinking in a many ways. I became aware of the way we lived not having the proper necessities. In other words, I had long hair and holes in the knees of my pants, long before they were fashionable. I always felt that we were from the other side of the tracks. I related socially by becoming shy, backward and insecure.

Teaching: Exercising Word Gifts at our gatherings

By David Peterman, Jr.

The fact that we prioritize being together each Sunday to Praise the Lord and hear him through his word and the spiritual gifts proves that we are confident that God speaks to us. What I want to share this afternoon is the importance of ALL of us being an active part of this process.

Every one of us needs to eagerly strive for the spiritual gifts. In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians (1 14:1) he exhorts

Pursue love, but strive eagerly for the spiritual gifts, above all that you may prophesy.

Mary Clare on Mission: Encounter with Jesus

Dear Friends, Family and Mission Partners, 

Greetings from Kolkata, India! I hope and pray that this letter finds you immersed in this season of Lent – this time of preparation for and longing for the promise of Easter. I am writing you today from the heart of India. Amidst the constant honking of horns, the hustle and bustle of city life, my heart truly has found rest. The Lord has been so good to me throughout this time of transition; slowly but surely adjusting my heart, my mind, and my schedule to life in India. 

Teachings: Joy of the Gospel, Chapter 5, part 2

Spirit-Filled Evangelizer

By Sharon Harman

This is our last official teaching for Pope Francis’ Joy of the Gospel.  Last week I started Chapter 5, where we learned that the Holy Spirit is the source of the inspiration and the joy to evangelize, as well as the One who completes the work of salvation in the hearer. We were exhorted to reach out both with the words of salvation, as well as the actions that demonstrate God’s love. Today we will finish Chapter 5 by talking about intercessory prayer, the Blessed Mother, and then I will try to briefly summarize what we have learned.

Lazarus and Confession

By Charlotte Ward

I had the privilege of going to Confession with my boy friend’s sister-in-law, Meredith, for her First Reconciliation as a convert. It was just so neat to be able to go with her to Confession -- like I’ve done since I was eight or nine -- and see someone who is 27 or 28 do it for the first time and come out with that burden lifted off of them. I can’t contain my excitement of being new and having that new life. Praise God, she will be coming into the Church in May.

Teaching: Joy of the Gospel, Chapter 5, part 1

Spirit-Filled Evangelizers
by Sharon Harman

We have arrived at the last chapter of Pope Francis’ Joy of the Gospel. We will spend this week and next on this last chapter and on summarizing what we have learned. Last week Bob finished Chapter 4, which addressed the social dimension of proclaiming the Good News. Chapter 5 has so much to do with our community! Its title is Spirit-filled Evangelizers, and I feel like the Pope circles back around from looking out at how to engage with the world to talk again about how our spiritual lives affect evangelism. I am going to spend a few minutes looking at spirit-filled evangelism as individuals and then examine our response as a people.

Teaching: Joy of the Gospel – Chapter 4, part 2

I will be their God and they will be my people

by Bob Montgomery

This is the seventh installment of the Joy of the Gospel, our Pope’s Apostolic Exhortation. As a reminder, we are studying this as a Community, so, you should have a copy of the document and be reading it and praying about it yourself.

Last week Gretchen began talking about Chapter 4, which is titled the Social Dimension of Evangelization. There were a couple of points Gretchen made that I want to begin with:

  1. Happiness, or joy in this world is for everyone!
  2. If we believe that the Holy Spirit is at work in this world, we have to realize that he seeks to penetrate every human situation and all social relationships.

Pope Francis makes the point that the Gospel isn’t merely about our personal relationship with God. It is also about the Kingdom of God, about transforming this world into a place where the King reigns in all areas and with all people.