What is St. Timothy MISSION?
The word “mission” necessarily implies a “sending forth” and a “giving away” – as a Church, the word mission implies a work of sending the Gospel into the world and giving to others the love and goodness that we have received from Jesus Christ. We are a “missionary” Church by nature. Listen to what the Catechism says, “The Church on earth is by her nature missionary since, according to the plan of the Father, she has as her origin the mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit. The ultimate purpose of mission is none other than to make men share in the communion between the Father, and the Son in their Spirit of love” (CCC 850). Jesus Christ was sent into the world with a mission from the Father, and He has entrusted this mission to the Church and given her the power to fulfill this mission through the sending of the Holy Spirit. And this “mission” of the Church is given not just to the bishops and priests but to the entire people of God… you and me!
St. Timothy’s has always been a place where our parishioners understand this missionary call and have responded to it with joy and enthusiasm. And because of this, we are excited to share this new opportunity to share in the missionary mandate of Jesus, to bring the Gospel to all the nations.
For many years our “parish missions” at St. Timothy have given parishioners an opportunity to come together to grown in faith and go deeper in their relationship with Jesus. These excellent and varied experiences have included a wide range of speakers and topics. While we called these events “parish missions,” they weren’t truly “missionary” in focus. Meaning, they were not focused outward, on bringing the good news Jesus Christ and the beauty of the Catholic Faith out into the community. We will continue to bring in speakers to help the parish go deeper and grown in knowledge and faith, but we also want to be sure that our ongoing formation continues to propel us outward, to share what we have received with the world around us. Therefore, our plan moving forward will be to have two major events a year:
(1) Focused inward at our parish and our parishioners.
This would include bringing in a guest speaker for a few nights to guide the parish toward greater depth in faith. These nights will be formational in character, aimed at those who to some extent have a foundation in faith and Catholic life.
(2) Focused outward at people who are not currently here (family, friends, neighbors, etc.).
This would be an initiative focused on the kerygma, the basic message of the Gospel. It will be more evangelistic in nature, presenting people with a vision of who Jesus is, what Christianity is about, and offering an opportunity for people to open themselves up to making a decision to follow Christ in an through his Church.
It is this second event that we are excited to share with you this fall…
Engage – Awaken – Connect – Discover
Engage – Awaken – Connect – Discover
This will be a four-part initiative to help all of us prepare for and engage in the missionary mandate to bring the good news of Jesus Christ into the world. It is an opportunity for you to grow as a disciple and an evangelist, so that you can confidently and effectively share the Gospel with others.
So, what’s involved in this four-part initiative?
MISSION NIGHT (Sept 19 - 6:30pm)
Preparing St. Timothy’s to ENGAGE in the New Evangelization.
This event is for us, for the people of St. Timothy’s. Everyone in the parish is invited to come and learn what is means to be a “missionary people” and to get a glimpse of what St. Timothy MISSION is all about. Fr. John Parks will be present to help us cast a vision for evangelization and mission, break open the details of this initiative, help you intensify who in your life might be ready and open to an invitation, and empower you with tools and tips for inviting people to our meeting the following week.
BRING A FRIEND NIGHT (Sept 26 - 6:30pm)
“AWAKEN Your Desire for Happiness” with speaker Fr. John Parks.
This is the event to INVITE people to… an opportunity to hear the Gospel as truly good news! This event is designed for our friends, family, neighbors, mail-carriers, dog groomers… anyone we want to hear what Christianity and a relationship with Jesus is all about. It will focus on the central truths of Christianity, that we were made for a relationship with God, that sin prevents us from experiencing this relationship, the Jesus Christ came to restore our relationship with God, and that He calls us to respond as disciples and experience newness of life in and through the Catholic Church. The goal of this night will be to give people an opportunity to hear the Gospel and respond to it in faith and a decision to follow Jesus Christ.
COMMUNTIY DINNER (Oct 3 - 6pm)
CONNECT with others at our Parish Potluck.
This night is intended to be a follow-up to the previous week, giving those who attended last week an opportunity to further experience the parish community. The goal will be for you to invite those who came with you last week to join you once again this week. It will be fun and laid-back evening, with time for fellowship as well as a few testimonies form people in the parish on how their life and faith have been enriched through their time at St. Timothy’s. It will be a great way for people to get a feel for what our parish family is all about and discover how they might find a spiritual home here.
ALPHA (Oct 10 - 7pm)
DISCOVER what it means to follow Jesus in this nine-week course!
The final piece of our MISSION initiative is encouraging people to participate in ALPHA. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with ALPHA, it is an evangelistic effort aimed at introducing people to the person of Jesus, providing them with in an invitation to faith and a relationship with Jesus, and equipping them to live a life of discipleship through prayer, scripture, and a life led by the Holy Spirit. While ALPHA is not specifically a Catholic program, it is a very powerful tool of evangelization. Our own Bishops of Phoenix, Bishop Olmsted and Bishop Nevares, are strong proponents of ALPHA, as are many leading figures in the Catholic Church (Fr. Cantalamessa, Cardinal Schönborn, and Fr. Mike Schmitz, to name a few). The Alpha Course is a nine-week series exploring questions such as: Who is Jesus? Why did Jesus die? How can I have faith? How and why should I pray and read the Bible? How does God guide us? How can I be filled with the Holy Spirit? How can I resist evil? How can I tell others about Jesus?
Our hope is that those who attend our “Invite a Friend Night” and our “Community Dinner” will be interested in exploring in more depth what it means to grow in faith and in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, ultimately leading to full communion with the Church through the sacraments. This would be a great thing for you to invite others to do with you… “Hey, I’m going to do the Alpha course, I’d love for you to join me.”
Please mark your calendars with the dates for this four-part MISSION and begin to pray about who God might be calling you to invite.
For more information, feel free to contact Joe Cady (480) 775-5260.