Ours is a parish that, supported by the Archdiocesan team for evangelisation, is willing to try something new in mission, and from whose experience our Archdiocese can learn.
Why are we being asked to do this?
A little bad news first: we live at a time when 10 Catholics in the UK are leaving our Church for every 1 that’s received.
“Stepping Forward in Faith” is all about engaging in a little church renovation! – not of the building, but of the people. This renovation comes from a deepening of our individual and collective relationship with Christ, and Pope Francis has particularly spoken of his desire for all Catholics to come to know and to share with others the Joy of the Gospel.
Who is being asked to do this?
Each person in our parish is, because of baptism, part of the parish’s mission to Boldmere. The Good News is that Christ calls us, as certainly as he called Our Lady, St Peter or St Nicholas, to become channels of his Grace – to become His disciples, to follow Him! St Paul wrote, “there are many different gifts, but the same Spirit” – so each one of us is uniquely called to use our gifts at the service of the Kingdom – nevertheless, we do so together, as the Body of Christ, not alone.
What are we being asked to do?
“Stepping Forward in Faith” means to pray and to dream. Nothing happens without prayer, so everything we do in mission must have Christ at the centre.
By praying, we become more sensitive to what God is doing and who he is calling to become part of the community of faith here.
We are also to dream. This means thinking hard about how we can respond in both creative and concrete ways to God’s invitation to share our faith, in order to bring people to the real presence of Christ that we experience here – to evangelise.
One tool that is being offered to us as a way to share our faith is called the Alpha course. This is a 10 week video course open to all, but designed especially for those who have hard questions about the faith, where they can come and discuss them with like minded people, while at the same time hear the Good News.
Running the Alpha course is something that will require many of the gifts that God has given to this parish such as cooking & hospitality, welcome, friendship, discernment and perseverance to name a few. Please consider how God is calling you to “Step Forward in Faith” and support our missionary activities!
Just as feeding the hungry and visiting the sick are part of the Corporal Works of Mercy, counselling the doubtful and instructing the ignorant are part of the Spiritual Works of Mercy – the Alpha course can also help us to fulfil that part of our Catholic calling.
So, what’s next? You are invited to come on Sat 11th November to a meeting at Maryvale Insitute in Kingstanding between 12-4pm – at this meeting, you will hear more about “Stepping Forward in Faith”, and about the Alpha course, which is being planned for Lent next year.
Please come – and bring a friend or two with you.
What we are doing here in Boldmere will serve not just the community, but the Church in Birmingham and the wider Kingdom of God.
We come to Mass because someone invited us or brought us to church. God is already at work in our parish, and is calling us to rebuild His house. Will you respond, as many saints before have done, with generosity to that call?
Our work will prosper supported by prayer. Please keep this work in your prayers….