AVON STOUR PASTORAL AREA
DIRECTOR OF LAY FORMATION
Since starting as Director of Lay Formation in mid-October last year, I spent most of the time up to Christmas meeting lots of parishioners from every parish - priests and people alike - to find out something of what God is already doing across our Pastoral Area, to listen to people’s views about the strengths, needs and current thinking in each community. This has been a real privilege and it has been humbling to meet so many wonderful, faithful and faith-filled people – thank you all for your generosity and welcome!
I have also spoken at all masses across the Pastoral Area to introduce myself and give some sense of my ‘vision’ for the way forward. The main formation activity before Christmas was the launch of our Pastoral Area Called & Gifted Process, with over 80 people attending our Introductory Weekend and the majority then going on to have an in-depth one-to-one Discernment Conversation to explore further the gifts God has given them personally. About 50 are now continuing onto the third stage of the process, the Small Discernment Groups.
Other plans for this term include: Networking Events to bring together people from all six churches involved in similar roles/ministries (this term: Local Pastoral Council members and Children’s Liturgy of the Word helpers); a Lent Learning course on the Sacraments (see separate article for details); a continued focus on developing and improving the welcome we offer newcomers to our communities; and planning for activities and initiatives to help all of us do what we can to support our young families.
More details of all of these, and more, will be published in a new occasional bulletin called “Emmaus”, as well as in newsletters, fliers, announcements and on the Pastoral Area website.
I look forward to meeting many more of you in the coming weeks and months.
May God bless you all
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