This weekend was our second ever, and hopefully annual, conference.
Because of our forthcoming book, Rebuilt, we organized the conference’s main and break out sessions, on the book’s chapters. The main morning session, which I gave, was all about articulating the basic problem when it comes to churchworld these days. What is going on, what’s wrong, and what needs to change? Going all the way back to the beginning, I relied on Matthew 16, where Jesus first uses the word “church.” What he was talking about was not a building, or even all the programs and services that go on in parish buildings; he was talking about a movement of disciples, based on the faith Peter confesses.
We enjoyed some outstanding music, we prayed together and worshiped the Lord with gladness. And there was plenty of humor and antics from members of our staff. We also got a great lunch. Breakout sessions included reflections on: kids and student programs, adult ministries, missions, small groups, the weekend experience, message development, and stewardship. The final session was presented by Tom Corcoran, and he did an amazing job of walking us through the principles of spiritual leadership.
It was a wonderful day, both refreshing and fun as well as inspiring and uplifting. Besides our own ministry leaders, we had leaders from 31 other parishes and churches, coming from around the state, and well as 6 other states. I met an associate pastor from a large church in Florida, a music minister from a parish in Pennsylvania, most all of the parish staff from one parish in Maryland. I met a seminarian just starting out on his ministry journey and the brand new pastor of a Lutheran church, with a congregation of 30.
Anyway, my thanks go to my own wonderful staff for making this happen with the same enthusiasm and excellence they bring to everything they do.
Matter 2012…could be the start of something big.
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Sorry to have missed it. Sounds like a great gathering.
I recently heard of a wonderful Mass held each year at the Maryland Fairgrounds on Christmas Eve. Could you please post more info including the time? Thank you so much!
I was unable to attend the conference but I love how this parish is “saving” many of the Catholics in this area. As a former parishner of a local church St. Isaac Joques and also with a big connection to St. Joseph Fullerton I was wondering and hoping (through this book) as well as just outreach – while Nativity’s big mission is to reach all Catholic churches.. if it could have a special outreach to it’s neighboring churches who are losing parishners and just having huge struggles right now.