by Deacon Dana Nearmyer
Many people — even some living in our homes — see faith, prayer and friendship with Christ as frightening and foreign.
Guides are needed to show the way and make the process simpler and more comfortable. The Christian term for this is discipleship.
There are several opportunities coming up in the months ahead for you to learn to serve as a guide or to find some guidance yourself.
First, did you know that Camp Tekakwitha is offering the inaugural Camp Tekakwitha Women’s Retreat on April 28-30, 2017? For years, women have asked Deborah Nearmyer, director of the camp, when a camp for women was going to be offered. “We want to be inspired like our kids,” they’d say. “We want to grow closer to each other and to Christ, like our kids do at camp.” So that opportunity has finally arrived. Grab a friend and sign up!
Next, parents and kids occasionally find that life feels really hollow at times. Adolescent and family speaker Chap Clark has the answer to that. His book, “Hurt 2.0,” has turned many lives away from the prevalent culture of abandonment toward a great experience of appreciation for our family members. It changed my life, I know. So, plan to hear him speak either the evening of Jan. 18 at St. James Academy in Lenexa from 7-8:30 p.m. or on the morning of Jan. 19 at Savior of the World Pastoral Center in Kansas City, Kansas, from 9:30 a.m. – noon.
Next, the Junior High Youth Rally, on Feb 26, 2017, is placing the focus on the heart of each participant. Our theme — “Backstage Pass” — is more than a metaphor. While having a blast, we are going to guide each participant to go “backstage” in their interior life, and parents are invited along for the ride.
Not all progress has to await an event or a program. What does it mean to disciple someone? Information and prayer are key parts of the equation, but so is time spent together. Parents are called and commissioned to disciple their children in the baptismal rite, and those confirmed are sent on the mission to disciple those near to them.
We, the evangelization team of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, want to help individuals and parishes create a culture of evangelization that will benefit all ages — those just introduced to Christ, as well as those who are old friends of Jesus.
Ask your pastor about being a pilot parish for animating the Evangelization Benchmarks, as part of the archdiocesan 10-year vision, which can be viewed online at: www.archkck.org/vision. Or contact the archdiocesan evangelization office at (913) 721-1570 to talk to Deacon Dana Nearmyer, Emily Lopez or Kimberly Rode.