The Discipleship Pathway is a series of steps that each of us can take in order to keep Jesus at the center of our lives and therefore at the center of our parish. Each step on the pathway is set up to animate the giftedness every child of God, every member of our parish, brings to our community. To support you in your personal walk with Jesus and to enable you to support others along the road. Our aim is for each of us to experience all 5 aspects of this pathway in our lives. So that we can grow as disciples as a parish. So that we can grow in communion with God and with one another.
Why do we want to encounter Jesus? Because we are meant to be in relationship with the Lord, in communion. We have chosen Alpha as our key method for animating this part of our pathway. Some people have said they have encountered Jesus in Cursillo, or after spending time in Adoration. And they have given their hearts completely to the Lord. That’s great. That’s the point. Alpha seems to be helping people do that right now in a powerful way. So we are going to stick with it right now. And yes, we would like everyone to experience Alpha, because even if you have already encountered Jesus, you can still come to know and understand the parish program of Encounter in order to invite others to it. It’s a starting point, a beginning to encountering or re-encountering the call of Jesus to a personal relationship.
Why do we want to grow together in community, large or small, because wherever 2 or 3 are gathered in His name, He is there among us. In communion. And in a large parish, we need to intentionally get to know each other. We need to be that much more intentional about building community, because there’s so many of us and we don’t want anyone to journey alone, to be left behind in the Temple so to speak! In order to facilitate this, we have Growth Groups. They are small Christian communities wherein we are known, loved, and cared for. And also, we can continue to move towards maturity in Christ. We pray together, we learn together, we support one another, and we grow together.
Why do we worship God, because we are literally built for it. We are at our best when we are doing it. We are at the height of our communion when we do that. Especially at mass. Especially through the Eucharist. COVID has disrupted our habits. And so we need to be intentional. There’s that word again about gathering for worship. About the centrality of the Eucharist in the life of our parish. To do that we want our experience of worship on Sundays to be both joyful and reverent. We want to sing with all our hearts, which has never been a problem in this community as far as I have known it. We want the experience to be beautiful, from the time we arrive in the parking lot, to the time we leave. Let’s get to know each other, smile at each other, welcome each other, become one family together, and as one family sing praise to our God, come with expectant hearts, pray together, and experience communion. And to extend the time of Eucharistic amazement we experience at every mass, we will look for times to have Eucharistic Adoration together, whether that be in silent prayer, or in joyful praise. We have a few times of Adoration with Praise and Worship scheduled for this year, and we have silent prayer and Adoration every single week.
Why do we serve in the Church? Because we are supposed to use our gifts to build up the body of Christ. In other words, it strengthens our communion. We have had strong ministries for so many years. But we are going to go further. We are going to help identify the gifts that God has given each of us, and find a ministry that best fits. We aren’t going to just fill holes with warm bodies, we are going to call the gifted, that’s all of you, and find a place where you can thrive in building up Christ’s Body the Church.
Why do we evangelize in the world? Because the communion that we enjoy together is meant to be extended to everyone. It’s all about relationships. And that’s where it starts. It starts with our friends. It starts with our families. It starts with our schools and places of work. It starts on the streets with the poor and the homeless. Wherever we can build a relationship, there’s room for evangelization. And when we evangelize, people encounter Jesus, and that brings the Pathway right back around.
It’s all about relationship. It’s all about communion. We start with an actual human need. We start with friendship. We start with food. We start with a roof over someone’s head. And then of course we don’t stop. Because the deepest need of the human heart is the need for God. And so in the context of trust, then we invite all of these people to come and see. And we will help you do this. Because it’s hard. To invite to Alpha, to share how God has worked in your life, to share the core Gospel message. We will help you. And this needs to be built up in our parish.
This is our Discipleship Pathway. Some steps of this pathway encompass ministries, outreaches, and programs already in place at Holy Trinity parish, others will need to be built up in order for us to grow in communion together. In unity together. So that we can embrace our shared mission to make and equip disciples who joyfully go and invite others to Jesus, together. So that we can take a next step on our path of faith together. My hope is that all of us can be doing all of these things. Either for the first time, or in a deeper way.
Pope Francis has asked parishes to find ways to journey together, so that we are going in the same direction. He has asked us to become hubs of mission. There’s no reason we can’t do that. As several parishioners have said, “we are good people”. The great works that have been done in our community attest to that. Now we need that goodness to be united together. We need the various strengths, gifts, perspectives, personalities, histories, united behind, not our shared building, but our shared mission. Our unfailing unity in Christ is what will enable us to become explosively alive in the Holy Spirit. Our unfailing unity in Christ is the bedrock of being strengthened in community. Our unfailing unity in Christ is what will allow us to transform the world for Jesus.
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Our dream for Holy Trinity parish is that we become explosively alive in the Holy Spirit, strengthened in community and that we transform the world for Jesus.