Loves Labour – Catholic Evangelism Conference, 6th Oct 2009

These are my random(ish) notes from today’s conference. Overall, it was an excllent day, and much was achieved. I apologise if this is a bit disjointed.

Mission – the work of God in the world. God is a missionary God
Evangelism – the process of making christians

Belonging <- the first requisite
Believing
Behaving
(Look up Prof Grace Davey)

  • Becoming a Christian means becomming part of God’s church
  • The converting power of worship and the sacramental life
  • Spirituality that engages with the world.

Cinema Paradiso – mass to censorship scene. The world sees us as censoring / censuring the world. How can we make the text of John 10:10 clear to the world?

In Cinema Paradiso, the parish priest goes straight from mass to the cinema where he vets the films, and has all the kissing, the passion removed. He rings the bell to indicate the bit to be censored, and uses the same bell used for mass.

So often, the Church is seen as a censuring body, and is distrusted for that.

The little boy serving at mass, and working as the projectinist’s assistant grows up into a famous film director. The projectionist bequathes a can of film to the director, who when he views it sees that it is all the kisses that were removed, and it marks a joyous celebration of life and love.

If we were to fulfil John 10:10 more fully, celebrate the life and love that is found in Christ, then our evangelism might be more readily heard.

St Paul:

  • In Christ there is no Jew nor Greek, (Paul vs Jerusalem, sect to universal)
  • Slave nor Free (slavery not abolished until well, now)
  • Man or Woman (1992 and all that)

People ringing bells to censor the growth of the church (in the style of Cinema Paradiso). Our tradition can be a barrier to the holy spirit.

Baptismal Charge, Deacons and especially the Common Worship Charge to Priests

Will you be diligent in prayer, in reading Holy Scripture, and in all studies that will deepen your faith and fit you to bear witness to the truth of the gospel?

By the help of God, I will.

Will you lead Christ’s people in proclaiming his glorious gospel, so that the good news of salvation may be heard in every place?

By the help of God, I will.

Will you faithfully minister the doctrine and sacraments of Christ as the Church of England has received them, so that the people committed to your charge may be defended against error and flourish in the faith?

By the help of God, I will.

Will you, knowing yourself to be reconciled to God in Christ, strive to be an instrument of God’s peace in the Church and in the world?

By the help of God, I will.

Will you endeavour to fashion your own life and that of your household according to the way of Christ, that you may be a pattern and example to Christ’s people?

By the help of God, I will.

Will you work with your fellow servants in the gospel for the sake of the kingdom of God?

By the help of God, I will.

Will you accept and minister the discipline of this Church, and respect authority duly exercised within it?

By the help of God, I will.

Will you then, in the strength of the Holy Spirit, continually stir up the gift of God that is in you, to make Christ known among all whom you serve?

By the help of God, I will.

Tim Schofield:

“The People of God are to be lovers, leading the people of God to him, just as he loves them.”

Practical Considerations;

  • Understand how people come to faith
  • Serve the local community
  • Develop contacts
  • Build a place of nurture
  • nable people to grow in their faith

We would never stop worship, so why do we duck out of evangelism or supporting deepening and developing our faith. (Clearly not STE).

Workshop D – seasonal worship as Mission
Peter Moger – worship development officer (what a fabulous job – could I have one like that?)

“Worship lies at the heart of a missionary church” MSC p81

Gospel is where Jesus stands in our midst – hence ‘the Lord be with you’

Isaiah 6:1-8 Earth worship transforned into heavenly – the sanctus. Here I Am – Missional sending

Luke 24:13-35 Emmaus – Jesus draws them alongside – unpacks scripture, sacramental encounter – sent back to Jerusalem in mission

Worship as the Place of Mission
This is a challenge posed by process evangelism: Youth Pilgrimage vs Everyday Worship

Fr Mund speaks of benefits of sending people to Mass over baptism courses (as we do).

Wesley ‘Eucharist as a converting ordinance’ a catholic in his theology of the eucharist if not in his theology of orders. Charles Wesley’s sacramental hymnody – big tick

Rites on the way – Common Worship

God in Jesus shares our life (incarnation) and changes it (redemption)

Candlemas – start in Narthex. Church in darkness. Sing Gospel Canticle with lit Paschal Candle , then light candles (of faith) and spread to shelves.

When to use a dismissal Gospel (John 1:1-14)? What season…

But can use different Gospels for the year

** Need Times and Seasons and Together for A Season (3 vols) ** Maybe Church House Bookshop

Easter dismissal – using font and resprinkling.

Valentines day – write to wedding couples. Mass of Love.

Mass

Evangelism in the modern world
RC encyclical Pp Paul VI

‘Are u saved brother?’ and ‘will see at u at mass?’ are same thing

Workshop G
Bishop Stephen on Maternity Ward

Good work on catechumenate as in RCIA eqivilent: Emmaus and stuff from Liturgical Commission.

Funeral opportunity.
Before the final prayer, almost as an aside, say ‘I know this might have been hard for some of you. If anything I have said has stirred something within you, and you wish to talk about this, seek advice, prayer or support, then please contact me, either after this service or at a later time’ … And then go into the blessing.

Evangelism takes 4-5 years.

Evangelism ‘spiritual direction for those do not yet know God

Emmaus – first words of Jesus ‘what are you discussing as you walk along?’ Not ‘do you want to come to church’.

Jesus spent an inordinate amount of time with a few people. Who do we need to spend more time with.? Does the parish know what I am doing? Probably not… How can I communicate that?

Plenary

Mass of the Incarnation – in the Summertime. Carols, Crib. Incarnation for every day.

Jesus is for Life, Not just for Christmas.