In this context, the concept of a gapyear program is one that offers a viable solution and provides a new approach to developing not only cognitive skills, but also non-cognitive skills that current researchers are showing predict success better than IQ. This is the kind of innovation on which a gap-year internship is focused. Students will focus on deepening their walk with the Lord and laying an unshakable foundation in Christ that will launch them into not only a successful college career, but also lifelong success.
The director of Honor Academy Internship, J e f f P r u e t t has been in full-time ministry for 26 years. He was mentored by revivalist Leonard Ravenhill and has served in both senior pastor and youth pastor capacities. He served under Keith Green as a staff member in Last Days Ministries and has always been passionate about preaching the gospel and reaching the lost for Jesus Christ.
From deluxe tours to adventure travel They can be an effective tool for teens to discover how God can use them to change lives—and ultimately to awaken them to their life destiny and purpose. Can you see them in your mind yet? At least these are on the correct path, right? These are the exact type of teens who go on mission trips with my team each year. More than 72, of them have shown up over the years ready to explore South American jungles, trek through Himalayan mountains and journey inside cultures unlike their own, all for the chance to tell people about Jesus.
One summer, when we were training missionaries on our campus to head out to the ends of the earth, we asked them to write letters to God. We told them to ask Him for what they wanted while on the field. They brought their letters to the front of the room and left them anonymously at the foot of a wooden cross. The collection and reading of those letters was a game-changer for me. I was surprised. I was stunned. I began to rethink everything. I think I deserve to bleed. I feel worthless, but You already know that. I just want to be loved.
I want to feel a passion for You. Please help me, but only if You want. The truth is, I believe these hungry students have the right idea. A mission trip is exactly what our kids need to establish their beliefs and grow closer to God in a non-traditional and life-changing way. There is no better way to get them motivated to become knowledgeable about their commitment to Christ than to put them in a place where they know they will need to give a reason for the hope they have.
When a teenager gets extracted from their routine environment, becomes a part of modern-day miracles and has a chance to lead people to put their trust in Christ, something incredible happens! They become bold. They become courageous. These adventures become their proof of God as they realize He can use them to ignite fire in others.
The euphoria of what it feels like to partner with God in ministry is addicting and only one of many benefits teens enjoy on the mission field. A biblical understanding of personal destiny and a more holistic perspective of the world are others. I remember my own moment of discovery when I first got a glimpse of how God saw the world and what that meant for me. I was 18 years old and on my first overseas mission trip in Botswana, Africa. Our conversations quickly revealed that none of them had ever heard about Christ in a relevant way.
Every day of that trip, I was pushed to put others first and prioritize people over my own wants and comforts. It was no longer only a short trip I was on, but the way I wanted to live forever, no matter where I found myself. The harvest is ready. Are you? Further your training with accessible, accredited and affordable distance learning created for spiritual leaders like you. Ask us how. I had an epiphany on my adventure in Africa that I doubt my high school education could ever have given me. I recognized that the world was truly bigger than the four walls of my own existence, and I began to believe my life could make a difference.
What happens once a teen has helped rebuild a school in Haiti and served. Teens once focused on having the latest fashions become more thankful, more considerate and more generous to others. Selfishness shrinks back. Teens are required to take ownership over their time management and schedules. Once on the field, they must rise to the challenge of leading peers and following through on commitments.
As they meet new people, they must learn how to work together on projects, cooperate with translators and partner with the leadership of other churches. Amid the guidelines and expectations intrinsic to mission trip programs, they can practice making right choices consistently. As leaders and ministers, we must respond to the needs of our teens in order to secure the legacy of our Christian heritage. I believe missions are an inherent component in doing this. Getting locked into missions is actually much easier than most people assume. There are more opportunities to take and send our youth on safe, quality mission trips than ever before.
If you think your students might not be willing, guess again! Teens love adventure, they thrive on new undertakings and this generation already has a proven track record of engaging in all kinds of social work through volunteerism. The need has never been greater.
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Our commission is unchanged. Therefore, God will equip us for every good work as we lead His kids on an expedition to change the world. Though our culture values individualism, standing up for sexual purity is still a joke. Simply put, Alice Gray stood out among the crowd. Many of the people I grew up around attended church. But looking back, there were very few whom I would classify as true Christ-followers. Even at an early age, I was fascinated by the life that my mother lived in front of me. Live how you want. Sleep with whomever you want.
I give God the honor for Alice Gray. Committed to Purity. Pa rt of what my mother passed down to me was a deep desire to walk in purity, particularly in the area of sexuality. I was 13 years old when my mother made me promise to be a virgin when I got married. Though that certainly made an impression on me, what mattered more was when I made a personal commitment at 16 to be a.
That commitment lasted 21 years. I was 37 years old when I got married, and my wife and I both waited for each other. We are so grateful that we did. Maybe you made some bad decisions or took some wrong actions. Or maybe things happened that were outside of your control. Whatever the case, God can redeem you. He can redeem the time. He can restore your body. Sadly, many Christians—both ministers and others—get bogged down with guilt and condemnation when it comes to issues of sex and relationships. As a result, I only understood certain things, and others I had to find out for myself.
In fact, I encourage young people to understand that purity is not the external commitment to not engage in premarital sexual activity. I believe that at their core most young people are searching for the same thing. Young people can live lives of purity. They can guard themselves from the danger zones of premature relationships, heavy petting and all forms of sexual activity that may not be intercourse but are still regarded as sexual immorality.
It is perfectly reasonable for us to give God our bodies in return for all that He has done for us. We need a generation of young people who will stand on this truth, who will live holy, who will serve the Lord, and who will honor Him in mind, body and spirit. We need to have open and honest dialogue with the emerging generations, not from a judgmental perspective, but from one of healing, honor and covering. The ultimate expression of sexual intimacy can only be found within the confines of marriage, as God has prescribed it.
That can only come from a true encounter with the real Jesus that causes you to commit yourself beyond what temptation can offer. God deserves our very best, and He deserves it right now. I encourage young people regularly that if I can do this, anyone can do it. By no means have I been perfect; there are times in my life I would love to have changed. But what I did commit to, I was able to hold onto, and I believe God received glory from it. God has been good to me. But I believe in no small part that I am where I am today because of the commitment I made as a teenager.
And that commitment was a direct result of the impact my mother had on me. She was both a model for me and a steady source of guidance. As Christian leaders, we must be the same for younger generations, particularly in this area of purity. We can offer hope to all ages in this area of sexuality, but particularly to those in the emerging generations who face a daily bombardment of sexual temptation.
In a culture that throws caution to the wind and is all about instant gratification, we—both you and those you lead—can stand out from the crowd, just as my mother did. J o h n G r a y serves as an associate pastor at Lakewood Church in Houston. A former youth pastor, Gray has toured with Kirk Franklin as a musician, appeared on TV hit shows as an actor and is an indemand speaker.
Observe how indigenous missionaries are engaging the unreached, assist their missions team, follow their steps, discover how they are supremely effective in bringing the gospel to their own people. To help you get a feel for the dynamic work of native missionaries, Christian Aid is offering a free book that tel ls the stories of a number of native missionaries, their experiences, difficulties, challenges, and opportunities to finish the task our Lord set before us: "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come.
Youth ministries are built upon the premise that the younger years are when the harvest fields are richest. Put simply: Just feed them! How do I feed the young ones? What is my role, my responsibility? The following are a few points taken from the Double Vision book and DVD seminar that literally thousands of churches have used to double the size of their youth groups.
Real impact begins with prayer. Of course, we should always be praying for the young people in our lives, given the unique challenges they face today in a culture opposed to righteousness and godly values. But we need to also pray for the 26 million teenagers at large in America. Equally as more important, pray for the young people in your county, in your city, in your community.
How many teens are there in your area? How many high schools and junior high schools are there? What is the teen pregnancy rate, the drug use rate, the suicide rate for your area? Remember, however, that no matter how much the culture is trying to steal your young ones, the gospel is stronger than culture.
The gospel meets the cry of their hearts like no drug, like no sexual relationship. The gospel fulfills every need of their hearts. Just speak the potency of the truth in a way they can understand it, and you will see real lifechange as teenagers come to Christ. The thing we imagine is the thing we begin to pray about.
The thing we begin to pray about is the thing in which we become engaged. As you dare to imagine what it would look like for youth revival to happen in your city, start to pray in that direction. It all starts with picturing it in your mind. One way to begin is to imagine what it would look like after 12 months if Jesus Christ came back to be the youth pastor of your church.
What kind of youth group would that be? What would the worship be like? The outreach? The leadership development? How much would it grow in the next year? What kind of kids would you reach out to? Pregnant teens? Write it down. That someone could be you. Can you picture in your mind having a church filled with young people? Can you imagine a Wednesday youth. Keep in. Worship is much more than a 20 minute set of music True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth.
They are the kind of worshipers the Father is looking for. A great book for study groups. Also available in Spanish. I am stirred, moved, challenged, and generally rocked by Worship Walk! Worship Walk calls us into and equips us for a life of divine fellowship and fruitful lives deeply connected to God. Creative and Publishing Services Director. Worship Leader Magazine. May They were all impacting founding at Cambridge of InterVarsity nations and reshaping mission para- Christian Fellowship. Visakhapatnam, India The golden chain of mission expansion has been forged by teenagers and young adults.
And whether or not they realize it, on-fire youth today add to a train of faith centuries long. The average age was 27 at the Moravian gathering in that birthed a nonstop prayer vigil for world evangelization that would last years. Nikolaus von Zinzendorf, who gave leadership to the Moravians, joined other students at 16 to form a school prayer group that exploded into a prayer movement that swept Europe. As a new era dawned, again it was William Carey, not yet 30, defied a young, innovative thinkers like Cameron complacent church and became the cata- Townsend and Donald McGavran who lyst for the modern mission movement.
Livingstone and Amy Carmichael. LivIn , Billy Graham, who had ingstone and Taylor were both teenag- recently graduated from Wheaton Colers when they committed their lives to lege, and year-old pastor Torrey Johnmissionary service. In , year-old Jim movement. Almost a century later, the Elliot and four other young missionaries Student Volunteer Movement saw some were martyred while attempting to plant 20, graduates go as missionaries. Hundreds of young people waves of mission fervor through the across America volunteered to take their centuries.
In different generations the place. Moody lit mis- With a Mission. Significant outcomes of Teen Mania. T ha n k God for t he u nbr id led evangelistic passion of youth. As mentors to young visionaries, we must never be guilty of preventing youthful dreams from launching.
We can help guide where those dreams soar, but we should never strap down the wings of vision or creativity. Entrust them with some weighty assignments. They simply need to know that we will join them in the trenches. Dear God, deliver me from any identification with these dream dousers! Throug hout histor y, when God wanted a big job done, He often looked to a young person. Teenagers like David and Mary changed history. Youth is when idealism and a sense of justice and injustice peak. D a v i d S h i b l e y founded Global Advance in and has equipped church leaders in 62 nations.
He needs you to steer the fathers will turn to the children, and the hearts of him from the traps you may have fallen into. There have been the children to their fathers. Being able to go to him and not being afraid erations in our local congregations. As you have made mistakes my failures. My senior passenior pastor, David T. Demola, tor has led me with grace, allowing who taught me the true meaning me to learn from my mistakes. Know where pastor has been instrumental in my the ministry is and where it is headgrowth as a leader and the success ing. In order to to have their finger on the pulse of see our churches—composed of J a c o b B u r g e i is the student pastor at Faith their youth church, and that comes older and younger generations— Fellowship Ministries in Sayreville, N.
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Here are some tips for senior pastors and youth pastors to details, but he wants to know any major happenings. They need encouragement from their pastoral covering to push them toward their vision. There have been times when I was struggling and feeling down, and my pastor would say a word of encouragement or send me an uplifting text message. If youth pastors are not getting encouragement, they tend to feel isolated and as if no one understands what they are going through.
Youth ministry is full of ups and downs. My pastor reminds me that the down seasons are a part of ministry. The enemy wants youth pastors detached from their senior leaders. Pastors, do not let your youth leader be isolated.
Your uplifting words will encourage him. You are under the covering of your senior pastor. If you are not submitted to his vision first, how can God bless your vision? There will be many times when you disagree with your senior pastor, but you must submit to his leadership. Trust his wisdom. He has made mistakes and wants to protect you from repeating them. You must clearly communicate the vision in your heart to your pastor.
Answer 2: The “Sermon”
Because of social media like Facebook, I got more birthday wishes than I ever got cards in the mail. A few weeks ago a friend of one of my friends was in dire straights. Her husband had been in a motorcycle wreck and lay in a coma in the hospital, yet people instantly began praying for him.
Because of Facebook and how connected we are today with smartphones and tablets, we can hear about and respond to the burdens and celebrations of life in real time. Gone are the days of hearing about a prayer request for the first time in the Sunday bulletin. There is a stream of conversation happening on social media platforms like Facebook that connect communities and people with each other like never before.
Facebook has more than a billion users, and more than 15 million company brands employ a page on the site. It should come as no surprise that churches are hopping on the social media train as well. More than 46 percent of churches say that social media is the most effective method of outreach.
Jesus was well aware of the power of word-of-mouth. The gospel was spread across continents using this method. One benefit of social media is that the effectiveness of word-ofmouth is instantaneous. There are a lot of myths about social media that keep churches out of the space when, in actuality, it is one of the most powerful tools available today for outreach, growth and community engagement.
Make sure you have a Facebook page, a compelling cover photo, clear information about the church including service times, and are intentional about how you are using your comment wall.
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There are numerous ways a church can engage a community in order to grow their online impact. Here are a few ideas we have found worth doing: hh Inspirational Messages. Post a daily or weekly message of inspiration on Facebook, or select a meaningful Bible verse and tweet it to your followers.
Facebook posts can easily be shared by members on their own personal Facebook walls, and tweets can be re-tweeted to hundreds with a click of the mouse. Set up a video camera and record the service. You can then upload excerpts to YouTube, Vimeo or Facebook and tweet the link to your followers. Or, record the audio and turn it into a podcast. Use an e-calendar tool such as Google calendar and ask members to subscribe. Most social media sites possess an integrated location function. The idea is for friends to build a dialogue around the service or festivities taking place at your church.
A n d y M u r r a y is Founder and CEO of Mercury 11, a social media agency specializing in helping organizations leverage the power of social media to grow and make an impact. Founders Chester and Betsy Kylstra have over 27 years of effective ministry experience, and have been training others in RTF ministry since Multiple levels of training available at the International Training Center.
You can even begin you training at home with our online and DVD classes. International Association of Chaplains Drs. Since God is a planner, we need to be planners too. Frank Henrich is a Christian poet and writer who for 31 years reached out for God to his customers and friends while earning his living as a businessperson. He learned 17 spiritual guidelines which he shares. His poems have reached a worldwide audience on website www.
Starting to write in , he is still an active Christian writer. Let us make our parishes places where everyone who attends Mass can also make friends, find mentors, and feel known, loved and supported. This will require the committed involvement of many parishioners, especially those who have a charism for hospitality or for accompaniment. Many of those we evangelize will not be immediately ready for adult catechesis or the RCIA program. To bring an unchurched person directly into such programs is like throwing a non-swimmer into the deep end.
This may include programs of initial proclamation of the Gospel, such as Alpha; it may also include social events where people can get to know others in a relaxed, non-threatening environment before making a commitment of faith. Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Our service to the poor and marginalized needs to be a clear witness to Jesus our Lord, not mistaken for humanist philanthropy.
Catholics around the world and in our local Church have developed a remarkable network of charitable programs for health care, disaster relief, hunger alleviation, poverty reduction, refugee aid, family services, counseling, and help for people in every form of need. In recent decades, however, there has been a tendency for Catholic charitable work to become separated from our primary calling to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is time to overcome that distinction.
We need to ensure that in ministering to the material needs of others we are also responding to their spiritual thirst for God. Every Catholic charitable work must also be an authentic expression of Catholic faith. We must be unabashed to speak the name of Jesus and to invite every person to the fullness of life in him.
The world needs the light that is in Christ alone. Those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold. Mark Every person in the Archdiocese is called to encounter Jesus anew, to grow daily as his disciple, and to give witness to the power of his mercy. An encounter with Jesus is a moment in our lives that has such impact it causes us to change how we live. Once we have encountered Christ, from that point forward we are either all in or all out. We are faced with a decision to either walk away sad like the rich young man, or to surrender our whole life to him and live from that moment on as his disciple.
Parishes need to constantly foster opportunities for people to encounter Jesus. To follow Jesus is to be in a constant process of growth, like the seed that fell on rich soil. We seek to be more like Jesus, to treat others as he did, to pray as he prayed, to love as he loved, and to honor God in every area of our lives, including marriage, family life, finances, work, and leisure activities. Parishes need to help parishioners to grow continually in discipleship and deepen their relationship with Christ. Many Catholics tend to think our goal is essentially to be good and make it to heaven.
In fact, our goal is to extend the kingdom of God on earth by making the world a place where Christ is known and loved, so that as many people as possible are brought with us to eternal life. To live fully as a disciple is to make disciples.
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They went to the upper room…. All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. Prayer and intercession are indispensable components of the new evangelization, since God the Holy Spirit is the principal agent for unleashing the Gospel. Prayer is the way we access the unlimited divine power of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate.
The main reason Synod 16 was itself an experience of a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit was that it was preceded by a whole year of fervent prayer. As at the first Pentecost, still today, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Queen of the Apostles, leads us in prayer for the gift of the Holy Spirit and inspires us with a sure confidence that the Lord hears and will not fail to answer.
Mary was the very first person to proclaim the good news of Christ, when she welcomed his presence within her through the Holy Spirit and went in haste to share the good news with her cousin Elizabeth Lk Her appearance as Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico in led to one of the most fruitful harvests of evangelization in history. Let us call upon her intercession that the Lord may bring about an unprecedented harvest in the Archdiocese of Detroit. Pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.
It is not by accident that the co-patrons of the missions are St. Francis Xavier, who traveled as far as Japan to preach the Gospel, and St. Intercessory prayer cultivates the soil for the sowing of the Word. It can stir up spiritual hunger in a whole city or region, so that the hearts of even those who are far from God are prepared to hear the Gospel when it is preached to them. In fact, they have a unique capacity to empower evangelization by offering their sufferings in union with Christ, and praying for the grace of conversion for those who are being evangelized.
We need not be afraid, since we know who has already won the victory. The faithful need help in understanding how to resist the evil one, exercising the authority they have in Christ. We must use all the weapons the Church has given us: prayer, especially the rosary, Scripture, the sacraments, and sacramentals such as holy water. The propositions and action steps which follow are the culmination of an intense effort to discern the promptings of the Holy Spirit, through the people of God throughout the Archdiocese of Detroit.
Through this effort, more than 11, comments were collected and synthesized in order to develop the propositions discussed at Synod 16, a three day event in which more than Synod members gathered to discuss and discern the most critical and urgent ways in which to begin the journey of becoming a missionary Archdiocese.
Out of 36 propositions, in a process that included voting by the Synod members, nine propositions rose to the top as being the most important to begin the journey. As you will see below, I accept and fully endorse these nine propositions that the Synod recognized as having the highest priority. Subsequent to the Synod, I consulted with my Unleash the Gospel Leadership Team, a group of key advisors who have been prayerfully involved in planning for the Synod and assisting me in helping to transform our culture to embrace the New Evangelization.
With their support, I commissioned a small working group to evaluate and once again synthesize, what was revealed by the Synod discussion, not just the voting. Having received the report, I then consulted further to establish concrete action steps in support of the propositions. The action steps which follow were developed, as has been true this entire process, with prayerful discernment and dedication of the team members, assisted by many individuals along the way.
For my part, I not only received proposed action steps from others, but have also been personally involved in developing these action steps, seeking to be faithful to what the Holy Spirt has revealed throughout our Synod process. I charge the Judicial Vicar and Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Detroit to form a committee to review the Particular Law of the Archdiocese in light of the results of Synod By January 7, , the Judicial Vicar and Chancellor will present to the Archbishop of Detroit the work of the committee which will propose possible changes to Particular Law that are necessary in order to fulfill the work of Synod Vision: Families who, having embraced their role as the domestic church and in connection with other families and single persons, actively seek the spiritual and social renewal of their neighborhoods, schools and places of work.
Such families and individuals would display a strikingly counter-cultural way of living: grounded in prayer, Sacraments and attention to Scripture; unusually gracious hospitality; a capacity to include those on the margins of society; and joyful confidence in the providence of God even in difficult and stressful times. Envision and develop a practical plan for ongoing human and spiritual formation for all the stages of life e.
Some considerations for this plan need to be:. Vision: Parishes are to be founded upon prayer and a culture of encounter with Jesus. This will lead to parishes that are ready to welcome others and mobilized to evangelize: invite, connect, mentor and send families and individuals into mission. Every activity and resource of the parish must be in alignment with the fundamental commitment to evangelization. Parish leadership should manifest a healthy teamwork that is oriented to equip parishioners with the necessary training, formation, planning and resources to initiate and realize meaningful endeavors to extend the Gospel to every corner of the parish territory.
Build a culture of life-changing personal encounter with Jesus that permeates every aspect of parish life and that leads to a loving encounter of our neighbor.
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Equip, empower, support and send forth individuals and families in mission e. Establish a parish leadership team around the pastor as a normative practice, where team members develop shared responsibility and accountability both to the vision of the Archbishop and the mission of the parish. Vision: Archdiocesan Central Services is to provide strategic and structural support to parishes and other Catholic entities, and to model the personal, spiritual and leadership characteristics of joyful missionary disciples.
Build a framework for mutual accountability between pastors, parishes, schools and the Central Services. To build a foundation for this, heal wounded relationships, build trust and practice transparency. Invest in people, processes and tools that ensure effective, anticipatory and responsive communication to all those engaged or seeking engagement with the Church internally, as well as with parishes, parishioners and the public.
Partner with Sacred Heart Major Seminary SHMS to develop practical and ongoing formation opportunities for clergy, lay ecclesial ministers and lay faithful around key areas of missionary activity e. Build cultural competency among individuals, parishes and archdiocesan leadership to acknowledge and break down barriers that divide us — including race, ethnicity, sex and socioeconomic status. Actively support the re-envisioning of the mission, funding and governance of Catholic schools. They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers.
Awe came upon everyone, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles…. And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. This letter ends where it began, in chapter 2 of the Acts of the Apostles. Here we see the Church living an authentically Christian communal life: following the teaching of the apostles, practicing fellowship and care for one another, partaking in the sacraments, and praying together.
And we see how God blesses them by adding to their numbers. We see a mystery, a reality at once human and divine, the created manifestation of the work of the Creator Spirit. The Church is the sacrament of the risen Christ in our midst. She is alive because he is alive. She grows with the vigor and power of his divine life. And her living is not for her own sake but for the sake of her mission. In this text from Acts, St. Luke paints a beautiful portrait of the Church in her first days in Jerusalem. Since then, like a flourishing vine, her branches have extended over the face of the whole earth.
The Church in the Archdiocese of Detroit is a living branch of this living vine.
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What St. Luke said of the Church in Jerusalem can be said truly of us. It is as the Church of Christ in southeast Michigan, founded by Christ and alive in Christ, that we take up in earnest the new evangelization. The unleashing of the Gospel is not something we do individually but a communal task, a work of the whole mystical body of Christ to which we belong. If we are living as a band of joyful missionary disciples, our communal life is itself a radiant witness to the power of the Gospel.
I am firmly convinced that the graces bestowed upon the Church in Detroit in Synod 16 are a great spiritual treasure, riches which the Holy Spirit has poured out upon us for the monumental task that lies ahead. With the help of God I will be a true and faithful steward of these gifts that are the common property of us all for the work that has been entrusted to us all. I am establishing the New Evangelization Council as a permanent body to assist me in assessing the response of the Church in the Archdiocese to Synod 16 and to advise on ways to make continued progress in unleashing the Gospel.
In this way I will have the support I need in the discharge of my stewardship. And I look to give annually at Pentecost an accounting of my stewardship of the graces of Synod As we embark on the missionary transformation of our local Church, a particular companion and intercessor for us is Venerable Father Solanus Casey. I see the recent announcement that he will be beatified in the months ahead as an incomparable grace for us: a model for the work of evangelization and a providential sign from God that we are doing his will.
In his years of humble service as doorkeeper to St. Bonaventure Monastery in Detroit, Father Solanus met everyone who came to him—Catholic or non-Catholic—with the warmth and compassion of Christ. May we follow his example! Along with him, we also have as heavenly partners Our Lady, the Star of the New Evangelization, and our archdiocesan patroness St.
You might also have your own personal companion; mine for the new evangelization is St. Where will the Archdiocese of Detroit be in twenty years? My hope is that it will be a community of joyful missionary disciples and of saints united in Jesus—that there will even be a whole host of causes for beatification!
We are a local Church in movement, and I invite every member of the Church to join in as we follow where Christ leads. Not only the destination but the journey itself is reason for encouragement and joy in the transformative power of the Gospel. As Father Solanus always said, we thank God ahead of time for what he is doing for us. Vigneron Archbishop of Detroit. Audio Listen to the pastoral letter on the go.
Print Get a digital version or buy a hard copy. Download Buy. Introduction When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. Acts Jesus Christ makes all things new! Foundational Conviction It is [Christ Jesus] whom we proclaim, admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. Catechetical Exposition Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
Matthew The missionary conversion to which the Lord calls us is new, yet it is also a return to the roots of our identity as the Church of Jesus Christ, manifested to the world on the day of Pentecost. Good and Bad Habits At Synod 16 many frank discussions were held in which the participants discerned and evaluated together the present state of the Archdiocese of Detroit.
The New Pentecost You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses… to the ends of the earth. Acts Synod 16 has definitively set the Church in Detroit on the path of the new evangelization; we are living in our own time the Gospel mysteries of the Great Commission and Pentecost. Acts 29 The book of Acts ends in chapter 28 with Paul under house arrest in Rome, still boldly preaching the Gospel. With Eyes Fixed on Jesus Let us… persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.
Hebrews The task of evangelizing is to propose Jesus Christ as the Savior whom God the Father offers to every human being. As Pope Francis has reminded us: The kerygma… needs to be the center of all evangelizing activity and all efforts at Church renewal…. Testimony Personal testimony has an indispensable role in evangelization. The Holy Eucharist In the Holy Eucharist we reach the summit of our participation in the victory of Christ over sin and death—the triumph we proclaim in the new evangelization.
Equipping for the Service of the Gospel He gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. Evangelizing the Evangelizers To become an effective evangelizer one must first be evangelized, since we cannot give away what we do not have. Equipping the Evangelizers Since evangelizing does not come naturally for most people, being effective evangelizers also usually requires the development of some practical skills.
Ability to explain the kerygma, the core message of the Gospel see Marker 2. This may include practical training for evangelizing in different contexts in the extended family, in the workplace, in sports settings, on the street, and so on. Basic apologetics on common topics, especially topics where there is widespread skepticism or misunderstanding of Catholic beliefs. Growth in virtue, since those who are living a life of virtue are credible witnesses and their lives are attractive to unbelievers. As Vatican Council II stated, For the exercise of this apostolate [of the laity], the Holy Spirit Who sanctifies the people of God through ministry and the sacraments gives the faithful special gifts also cf.
Priests and Deacons The leadership of our priests and deacons in unleashing the Gospel is crucial for this mission; every pastoral work must make a contribution to the new evangelization.
Consecrated Life and Movements The Lord has raised up in our local Church men and women in consecrated life, as well as lay people who belong to ecclesial movements, so that they can employ their unique charisms in the new evangelization. Youth and Young Adults The youth and young adults of our local Church have a particular call, which the Church wholeheartedly supports, to bring the light of the Gospel into southeast Michigan.
Colossians The Gospel is most effectively shared in person-to-person encounters. As Pope Francis has urged, Let us go forth, then, let us go forth to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ…. Accompaniment While they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them. Luke Accompaniment of those being evangelized is an essential part of unleashing the Gospel. Healing An intrinsic part of accompaniment is healing. Families These words that I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children.
Deuteronomy Families are at the very heart of our archdiocesan efforts to unleash the Gospel, because they are the first and most important setting in which evangelization takes place. Ministry to Families Among the many ministries entrusted to our parishes, the first priority is to assist families to live as domestic churches. Evangelization within Families Parents are the primary evangelizers as well as the primary catechists and educators of their children.
Attraction The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Matthew Effective witness to Jesus has these attractive qualities: joy, hospitality and generous service to the poor and the marginalized. As Pope Francis stated: An evangelizer must never look like someone who has just come back from a funeral! The Parish as a Place of Welcome For evangelization to have its effect we must ensure that our communities extend a warm welcome to everyone who walks through the door.
Evangelical Charity Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew Our service to the poor and marginalized needs to be a clear witness to Jesus our Lord, not mistaken for humanist philanthropy. Encounter, Grow, Witness Those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold. Encounter An encounter with Jesus is a moment in our lives that has such impact it causes us to change how we live.
Grow To follow Jesus is to be in a constant process of growth, like the seed that fell on rich soil. Witness Many Catholics tend to think our goal is essentially to be good and make it to heaven. Calling Upon the Advocate They went to the upper room…. Acts Prayer and intercession are indispensable components of the new evangelization, since God the Holy Spirit is the principal agent for unleashing the Gospel. The Star of Evangelization As at the first Pentecost, still today, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Queen of the Apostles, leads us in prayer for the gift of the Holy Spirit and inspires us with a sure confidence that the Lord hears and will not fail to answer.
The Role of Intercessors Pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Develop resources for measuring the success of these action steps as they relate to the propositions. Provide ongoing counsel regarding overall evangelization efforts in the Archdiocese. Families Vision: Families who, having embraced their role as the domestic church and in connection with other families and single persons, actively seek the spiritual and social renewal of their neighborhoods, schools and places of work.
I affirm and support the following Synod proposition: Envision and develop a practical plan for ongoing human and spiritual formation for all the stages of life e. Some considerations for this plan need to be: That in imitation of Christ, martyrdom is the pattern for fulfillment as a disciple of Jesus, and so preparation for this heroic witness is the measure for Christian formation. Mindful of the Sacrament of Confirmation as the anointing with the Holy Spirit for mission, a thorough re-examination: of the appropriate age for confirming of those baptized as infants, of the possible forums for these celebrations, and the forms of youth and young adult formation that ought to follow Confirmation.
Assisting families to live out radical hospitality in their homes Including cultural diversity throughout the plan. Empowering parents as the primary witnesses of the faith. Modeling key elements of discipleship and witnessing the same. Forming family discipleship groups, responsive to the needs of the community, that gather in homes to accompany one another with the joys and struggles of life. Giving support to movements and Christian communities that promote family life and evangelization. Christian Family Identity I charge families to commit to re-claiming their identity in relationship to God.
Reclaim Sunday: attend Mass as a family and intentionally spend time with one another, including sharing a meal together. Commit to forming your family in the love and power of sacred Scripture by placing it at the center of your family life. Study and reflect on Scripture, especially on the Sunday readings. Participate in Bible studies, use the Sunday readings, Scripture aids, and participate in family fellowship where Scripture is shared. Make full use of Sunday parish opportunities to unleash the Gospel in your family.
Create time for regular family meals without distraction to reclaim its sacred nature. Commit to developing family prayer time. Make time to listen, share, and grow together as a family guided by the Lord in times of joy and trial. Trust and develop a relationship with the Holy Spirit. Seek out simple ways to pray that fit your family, giving primacy to the family rosary, Scripture reflection, especially the Sunday readings, and devotions.
Seek out and initiate opportunities to pray with other families. Reclaim the sacrament of reconciliation as a lived reality in your home: heal wounds and brokenness in your family through sacrifice, forgiveness, mercy and love. Parents: be the primary witnesses of the faith to your family. Parishes Vision: Parishes are to be founded upon prayer and a culture of encounter with Jesus. Parish Culture I affirm and support the following Synod proposition: Build a culture of life-changing personal encounter with Jesus that permeates every aspect of parish life and that leads to a loving encounter of our neighbor.
I charge pastors to recommit to a daily practice of personal prayer and intercession as their highest priority and to lead the parish to do the same. This should include beginning and ending all meetings with time for prayer that is an opportunity to encounter Jesus anew, grow daily as His disciples, and give witness to the power of His mercy. I charge pastors to create a regular time for Eucharistic Exposition and Marian Devotion for the parish community and to promote participation. I charge pastors to provide generous availability of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and inspire the faithful to celebrate and participate regularly.
I charge pastors and parish leadership to implement the following by June Create a transformational Sunday experience Hymns, Hospitality, Homily that effectively models, inspires, and sends individuals and families forth into mission. Lead the parish in a spirit of radical hospitality that permeates all parish activity and flows out to the community.
Understand the entire geographical territory of their parish to respond with cultural competency and outreach. Gain a clear and dynamic understanding of a life-changing encounter with Jesus so they can create opportunities for others. Parish Functions I affirm and support the following Synod proposition: Equip, empower, support and send forth individuals and families in mission e. In order to accomplish or support this proposition: I charge AOD Central Services: Office of Evangelization to lead the development of a model of total evangelization around Unleash the Gospel by June I charge AOD Central Services: Office for Christian Worship to lead the development of a plan for equipping parishes with the necessary resources and formation to plan transformative Sunday liturgies, and liturgical events that will commission and send forth individuals and families for mission.
This plan should be proposed by June I charge parishes to begin incorporating this model of total evangelization into their parish by December and to revise their mission statements accordingly. I charge parishes to have a prayer and intercession team, by December , to pray for the mission of the parish and intentions from the leadership team and to provide ongoing prayer support of that team. I call pastors and parish leaders to seek the counsel of families in order to most effectively accompany them as they discern, discover and live out the mission of the family.
Parish Leadership I affirm and support the following Synod proposition: Establish a parish leadership team around the pastor as a normative practice, where team members develop shared responsibility and accountability both to the vision of the Archbishop and the mission of the parish. In order to accomplish or support this proposition: I charge AOD Central Services: Department of Parish Life and Services, along with the Office of Evangelization, to lead the creation of coaching teams with an initial pilot group to begin by December to assist in developing Archdiocesan standards and norms for organizational health patterned after elements of the Amazing Parish resources, such as: Providing formation for all parish staff.
Building a healthy leadership team and establishing ways to share best practices. Creating clarity for the entire parish by having answers to essential questions that guide and define the vision, mission, and assignment of responsibilities. Over-communicating clarity throughout the parish through simple and precise messaging using multiple media at all levels of parish life.
Reinforcing clarity in areas such as volunteers, and hiring, firing, rewarding, and compensating employees. I charge AOD Central Services: Department of Parish Life and Services to lead the development of standards and norms for organizational health in parishes by June , and to establish forums for helping parishes assess their strengths and challenges as they seek to meet these standards.
I charge all pastors to create a parish leadership team following Archdiocesan standards and norms for organizational health by December I charge AOD Central Services: Departments of Parish Life and Human Resources to lead the development of a new model for parish structures corresponding with the constitution of the Church including consultative bodies and parish staffing that are in alignment with the vision of Unleash the Gospel by December I charge the Episcopal Council, working with the Presbyteral Council, to create a system of support to clergy by August through: Consultation with the Diaconate leadership, and making full use of the resources of Sacred Heart Major Seminary, develop a curriculum for ongoing formation of the clergy that puts its first priority on evangelizing and forming evangelizers.
Calling the presbyterate to ongoing formation and ensuring they have time for it. While giving full consideration to the leadership responsibilities that necessarily belong to pastors, establishing structures which relieve them of managerial duties which can be delegated to others in accord with the norm of Canon Law , so they have more time for their munus docendi teaching office , especially the ministries of evangelization, preaching and catechesis.
Evaluating the priest assignment process and aligning it with the gifts and charisms of each priest.