Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Mission Begins

Alleluia, the mission begins for me in Minnesota!

It is now my second full day in MN and already I have participated in an Emmanuel Community Household gathering, which is a weekly time of faithsharing with brothers and sisters from the community, and the School of St. Paul, which is a weekly night school of evangelization for parishioners from St. Stephen's. I have also been snowed on and almost locked out of my car while the engine was running because the lock almost froze solid. So the experience of MN has already been exciting.

I'm really excited for the opportunity to help at St. Stephen's and to devote the next four months to the mission of the Church and to strengthening this community. Granted,we should always be working towards the mission of the Church, which is to proclaim the Good News and baptize all people in the name of the Trinity, but I am excited to focus the majority of my daily efforts on this goal. It has been a year and a half since I was last engaged in daily ministry work and boy, do I see how I have missed it! So I thank God for the opportunity to take a break halfway through my grad. program to put what I have learned into practice. Not only that, but I think there will be a lot of learning on my part that will happen from this practicum.

Just to give you a better idea of what I will be doing the next four months because I sure needed some clarification when I got here, sometime during this time there will be a parish mission at St. Stephen's. Missionaries will be out in the streets, knocking on doors, giving testimony at house gatherings, and doing whatever else we come up with as ways to evangelize the neighborhood. I will be coordinating all the details for the mission, like housing and transportation. There is a youth ministry that is getting started at the parish so I'm supposed to help brainstorm and guide that effort. I personally hope to get some young adult activities happening at the parish too. I'm supposed to help elevate the Sunday liturgies to a higher level through better coordinated music. I don't have much experience as a liturgist besides leading music with my guitar at The Pines Catholic Camp so I could definitely use your prayers in that area. Lastly, door-to-door evangelization team coordination. It's my least favorite form of direct evangelization because it's so uncomfortable, but it sure does make you trust in the Holy Spirit and be a fool for Christ. And as with all things charismatic, the implementation and timing of these different programs totally depend on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Come, Holy Spirit, come!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Two jokes as I get ready to move to MN

Both come from January's issue of Reader's Digest.
The first about Minnesota: What are the four seasons in Minnesota? Almost winter, winter, still winter, and construction.
The second about Californians: Four women are driving across the country together, each one from a different state: Idaho, Nebraska, Montana, and CA. Shortly after the trip begins, the woman from Idaho pulls potatoes from her bag and throws them out the window. "What are you doing?" asks the Nebraskan. "We have so many of these things in Idaho, I'm sick of looking at them." A moment later, the gal from Nebraska pulls ears of corn from her bag and tosses them from the window. "What are you doing?" asks the gal from Montana. "We have so many of these things in Nebraska. I'm sick of looking at them." Inspired, the Montanan opens the car door and kicks the Californian out.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Anticipated Departure Date

Hopefully my car will be packed up and ready to head out of Denver on Jan. 26. I'll be back briefly at Easter for Beth's full initiation into the Catholic Church and then I won't be back until June. I hope to see you all before I leave.