Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Evolving Ministry

Over the years I have done plenty of research, gathered resources, and have given a plethora of talks at various events, such as retreats, religious ed classes, or praise and worship nights at college. I loved giving these talks and sharing my inspirations and I've been reflecting on that as of late. Not so much my past talks, but ones I have done recently and how I can continue to better my ministry. I can easily say that ministry builds on ministry. I have presented the same Confirmation session (on Scripture and the Holy Spirit) for two consecutive years, but this year's class simply rocked! I took elements from the class I did last year, but I've learned more and I've grown in my own faith, and this was what was presented to the students.

Faith formation needs to hold hands with story telling. Stories are everywhere; from simple nursery rhymes to Dr. Suess to #1 Best Sellers to our own experiences. People are inspired by stories, they thrive on a good story. Stories captivate people and can be used for sheer pleasure or to teach a lesson. I want to get better at story telling, and to do that I need to be more aware of the happenings of my life and of those around me. We often take for granted the simple things of each day, but it is our lived experiences and stories that can lead another soul closer to God.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Why Them?

Wow, there I was, typing my last blog post and focusing inward and on the "self" and here is a country tortured by Mother Nature, crying out in pain, and desperately looking for hope. I am amazed at the response to the earthquake in Haiti; people are updating their facebook status, blogging on it, and simply praying for this country and its people. In a world that is self-centered, it is a beautiful thing to see so many reaching out with their hearts, hands, and yes, even their wallets. If I could, I would love to go down there and help, but my own funds are tight and I wouldn't have the slightest idea of how to get involved. So I made a donation to Catholic Relief Services instead. I cannot imagine Fort Worth in crumbles all around, with limited food and water, so much junk to clear, and inadequate shelter. But of course, here in the states, we have money to quickly remove things and rebuild. How blessed we are and how quickly we forget. May God be with all those who have died, who are injured, and the survivors who are still surviving.

Wrestling with God

Working on this Confirmation talk has led me to write a second blog post inspired by my preparation. The students receive a handout at each session, so today I was reading the front page and was struck by one sentence:
From our ancestor Jacob we learn that we must wrestle with God and struggle with ourselves to become the persons we want to be.

The story of Jacob wrestling with God is quite interesting and is found in Genesis 32:24-30. Jacob and an unnamed man wrestle all night long, but Jacob kept his strength and prevailed against the man. It is at the end of this fight that Jacob's name is changed to Israel and he is blessed by the "man." How many times have we wrestled with something and have given up, not having the courage, like that of Jacob, to continue?

I cannot say that I have "wrestled" with God, but I can say I have struggled with things and questioned God about them, crying out "why me?" Sometimes it feels like we cannot do anything about the struggles that we face, such as experiencing the death of a loved one or being extremly tired of being single. We struggle in our hearts to face the reality of events and how to cope with our emotions. We need to face our own struggles and not become passive about life, sweeping hurtful events under the rug. Of course, we also have to continue on with our lives at the same time. If we don't figure out how to struggle and cope with things, then who is the person we are becoming?

In our world today that is filled with so many distractions and pressures to be strong and keep our lives to ourselves it is easy to dismiss our lives. We're so wrapped up in the struggles of others, especially the ones the media portrays as significant, and we forget our own lives. We're human, it's ok to cry.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Love is not a feeling, love is a choice.

Who will you choose to love today?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


In a couple of weeks I will be presenting at a Confirmation session on Scripture and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. As I was preparing a bit for this talk I was reading a resource that discussed "engaging the senses" in faith formation. It used art as an example, and I thought of the St. John's Bible. It is the first hand-written, illuminiated Bible in over 500 years, and it was done in Minnesota! I think I'll use this image with the high school students. It's an interpretation of the creation of the world.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Add-on for the Day

Just saw this on another blog, thought I'd share it here, too!

hat tip to the Ironic Catholic

Happy New Year

This morning I walked into my office at the parish and everything appeared normal at first. It's always nice to see a clean desk! But then I noticed something different. Upon my clean desk, tucked in by my computer, I found a little dark blue teddy bear. Ok, well that's not so weird, you might think. Someone in the office left me a surprise gift. Well, on his chest is a year, and it's not 2010! In gold stitching it reads, "2000." Why would someone give another person a bear that is ten years old!? I'm not offended or upset, it certainly was a sweet gesture, but also very odd.

Recently I've been thinking about that time period between 2000 and 2010. I've heard a lot of mention of this past decade, and on Saturday morning I definitely stayed in bed listening to the American Top 40 countdown. Turns out Usher's "Yeah" was the number one song of the decade. Who would have thought?!

This past decade has probably been one of the most influential ones for me: it encompasses all of my major schooling, from high school to my Master's degree. And I must say, I believe these years are the ones when we are most formed into who we are and who we become. Of course we cannot disregard our childhood and upbringing, but high school and college were the places were I certainly had my fun, but also my struggles, and I grew into the woman I am today. The year 2000 does not seem like it was that long ago, but it really was!

I thought I'd have more to reflect on, but I went to a meeting and lost it all. Oh well! Today I've been listening to the band A Fine Frenzy, and I really enjoy them! Check them out!