Reaching out to today's seekers for web

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This special workshop, for RCIA directors and team members only, will point out some of the issues which identify today’s un-churched young adults who are trying to discover the role of faith in their lives. Participants will discuss what these individuals are looking for in a faith community and how our parishes might draw them in as inquirers.

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Reaching out to today's seekers for web

  1. 1. Reaching out to Today’s SeekersSome of the information I’m going to share with you is from CARA’smost recent study of parishes on behalf of the Emerging Models forPastoral Leadership project funded in part by a grant from the LillyFoundation.Please keep in mind that while some of the information which wasgathered from young adults might not jibe with what you believe is true,perceptions influence over reality. When you work out of a different setof assumptions, you see things differently. (See Zenit Oct. 11, 2011,“Pope Warns of ‘Virtuality’ Overtaking “Reality’”)Also, please remember that this workshop was advertized as adiscussion. Your input will be important to a successful session.Contemporary seekers are very independent. They ♦ don’t acknowledge or need the guidance of “authority” ♦ are accustomed to making choices and “customizing” ♦ see truth as elusive and multi-sourced ♦ consider experiences important ♦ are self-reliant (“independent deciders” who need to be taught discernment) ♦ want to be listened to ♦ are interested in an authentic way of life, not just affirming creedsWe can’t do a “come and learn” approach. Rather, we need to ♦ use multiple approaches ♦ make use of information technology ♦ resource learners instead of being teachers
  2. 2. ♦ provide apprenticeship opportunities ♦ become known for offering what is needed in order for people to hear God • silence of the ears and/or eyes •detachment •patience •attentiveness—versus multi-tasking ♦ be more humble as believers about what we knowWe need to ♦ stir religious imaginations (liturgy, mystery) – • mention Greek Orthodox faith as fast growing in California • young people thinking they want the “mystery” of the pre- Vatican II Church they never knew • one-third of those who leave Catholicism for Protestant religions say they were dissatisfied with the atmosphere of worship services (Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life) • other areas of discontent with Catholic worship which are often mentioned include preaching and music ♦ stress opportunities over obligations • to be part of a community which will support spiritual values • to be stretched and grow in faith • to serve and to find fulfillment • to experience God in deeply meaningful waysFor each of these opportunity areas—What does your parish offer? Howmight these opportunities be increased?

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