This week we have replaced Trenton’s usual blog post with a series of important announcements. Lets see if anyone notices.
My post might have been about spiritual seasons. For everything turn turn turn there is a season turn turn. A time when the Holy Spirit shifts your energy to focus on a new way to serve His will. A time to pray. A time to act. A time to be silent. A time to speak out. A time to write blog posts…
…and September! Like in many parishes a lot of the ministries at Saint Ignatius go on holiday in July and August. That means in September they are springing back to life again. For those of us that love parish Ministry that means September is filled to the brim with an exciting, busy, sometimes chaotic spirit. It feels like Easter again. Don’t check the liturgical calender, just trust me this is the spirit of Easter.
So what does this have to do with my not post? Well honestly the Holy Spirit hasn’t pulled my heart to post anything in particular. The spirit has made me excited about this new season of ministry and all the new opportunities it will bring. So that is what I feel called to write about. The spirit of new ministry.
My challenge to you this post is to answer that Spirit. In September when everyone returns from vacation and so many ministries start again with renewed vigor it is the perfect time for you to step into church life with renewed vigor. Join a new ministry. Learn more about your faith. Be more engaged. Look at the opportunities buzzing around you and join in. Opportunities like-
Join the community The fall is a great time to reconnect to your church community. Look for SCCs (Small Christian Communities) at your parish. Some opportunities I specifically want to highlight are.
Good News People Last year at Saint Ignatius the Good News People program inspired, engaged and supported its participants in becoming good news for others. Over 100 of your fellow parishioners have already gone through the program. This year (starting in Oct) we want you to experience the good news. Participants will meet in small groups and sessions are 2 hours in length. The program consists of 14 small group sessions and 3 special sessions. Each regular session includes prayer, reflection on sacred scripture, inspiring stories of “Good News” people, discussion as well as a specific focus on a virtue for the week. The program has a nominal price for participants of $15 but scholarships will be available. Your fellow parishioners would invite you to prayerfully consider joining Good News People this spring.
For more information you may contact: Irene Rivers 1-512-279-9355 firstname.lastname@example.org
Or log into our website: http://www.st-ignatius.org/parish/gnp
Single Catholics Serving Central Texas Small Group Dinners The SCSCTX who last year brought you the Sweet Heart Dance would like to give single Catholics another chance to meet and form community. This Saturday from 7 to 10 we will greet and eat with fellow Catholics from around town for potluck dinners in a small group setting. Afterwords, we’ll all meet for dessert at a central location. We have five generous hosts [I’m one of them] who have offered their homes. Spots are limited for dinner; sign up using the eventbrite website. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/scsctx-small-group-dinners-tickets-12994168909
Be more informed Becoming more informed is a great first step to renewed action. Some opportunities to get more informed this fall include-
Parish Social Ministry Panel Series: This year, beginning in September, the ACNM in partnership with the Saint Ignatius Parish Social Ministry is excited to host a monthly pot-luck speaker series featuring the many social ministries in Austin Texas. In our first pot-luck our panel will discuss how Catholics are responding to the needs of immigrants in our nation and how you can be a part of it. Its a pot luck so please bring food to eat and food to share. The first event will be held on Tuesday, September 30th from 6:30-8:30 in the Fr. Payne house. Hopefully the series will continue the last Tuesday of each month. PS- This series will be Podcasted by the Austin Catholic New Media …but you really want to see it live.
Good News Conference: On Saturday September 27 [at Saint Dominic Savio High School] the Secretariat of Justice and Charity is hosting the Good News Conference to talk about all the many social ministries of the Church. The Secretariat covers Catholic Charities, Pro-Life Activities, Missions, Criminal Justice and Social Concerns. I’ve been to their conference in years past and I guarantee it is both informative and inspirational. But sign up fast registration ends Friday. Their website http://www.austindiocese.org/goodnewsconference will explain how to register.
Get out of the Parish Finally of course the fall is a good time to renew your efforts to serve your fellow man. Check at your Parish to see how you can get involved this fall. Some larger opportunities include:
40 Days For Life Campaign: The fall 40 Days for life Prayer vigil kicks of September 24th. 40 Days for Life is is a volunteer based prayer campaign that draws attention to the injustice of abortion through three simple avenues: Prayer and fasting, Community outreach and Constant peaceful vigil. To get more information and to sign up to take part in the vigil visit. http://www.centraltexascoalition.com/get-involved/fall-2014-campaign/
Micah 6: Micah 6 is an ecumenical food pantry and youth drop in center that is in continual need of volunteers. The food pantry is a ministry that helps low-income individuals and families meet their most basic need for food and sustenance. Shoppers at the food pantry come from many walks of life: some have mental and physical disabilities, some are burdened with addictions, some are undocumented immigrants with families who do not qualify for government assistance, and some have unexpectedly experienced unemployment or other crisis and are unable to provide food for their families. Our volunteers serve with a spirit of compassion and maintain a positive atmosphere of fellowship, understanding, dignity, respect, and hope. To find out information about volunteering at Micha 6 see their website. http://www.micah6austin.org/volunteers/