A GiFT Gives Parishioners the Gift of Evangelization
Since its inception in 2008, the A GiFT Ministry at Our Lady of the Lake Parish continues to provide and promote ongoing faith formation, education and fellowship opportunities. In addition, this ministry consistently advertises other parish ministry activities as well as out-of-parish events and programs.
Guided by USCCB’s Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us, the team continues to lead parish adult faith formation efforts and works with all adult faith formation groups except RCIA.
The team’s primary function is Leadership of Implementation. This team continues to seek out the best resources offering adult faith formation opportunities through existing programs, new programs and programs offered by parishioners, other parishes, and other institutions in the metro area.
Through the use of a rigorously structured vetting process, the team is able to assist all programs and offerings with logistics, publicity, coordination, and facilities use. This process assures that whatever is offered is of the highest quality and meets the needs of the parish survey. The parish pew survey was conducted to determine what parishioners wished to see in adult faith formation and education. The survey also discovered the optimum times and days of the week that programs were most likely to draw significant attendance. Once the numbers were crunched, making the ideas into realities began. Each team member brought his or her individual skills to this ministry: planning, analysis, evaluation, coordination and execution. All skills combine to create excellence of execution.
A GiFT continues communications leadership by informing the parish and community of parish activities through regular articles in The Catholic Sentinel, The Oregonian, and The Lake Oswego Review. In addition, media group email contact lists and online calendars are ongoing sources of publicity. Regular advertising is done in the parish bulletin and on the KBVM website, on blogs, and in other area parish bulletins.
Activities and programs under the A GiFT umbrella include the Lenten Small Faith Group program, the “Awakening Faith” Returning Catholics program, The Lighthouse Catholic CD program, Theology of the Body events, Fatima Cell sessions, a monthly book club, and the library committee. A GiFT also oversees Wings, Dogs, the Charismatic pray group, and the Centering Prayer program.
“The Year of the Mass” program in 2010-11 ushered in the highlight event of 2011-the Matthew Kelly Parish Book Program. Over 1450 copies of Rediscovering Catholicism were handed out at the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day masses. Following closely behind the book distribution were 4 book discussion sessions and a panel book discussion.
In October of 2012, A GiFT launched “The Year of Faith” with various activities. On May 18, 2013, the team welcomed Matthew Kelly. He presented his Passion and Purpose Retreat to a capacity crowd in the parish church.
A parish mission will be held in late September, 2013. Father Francis Chun will host the weekend Masses September 21 and 22. The following 3 days (Monday the 23rd -Wednesday the 25th) Father Chun will conduct interactive lectures beginning at 7 PM in the church.
Preliminary planning and vetting will soon begin for a program on reconciliation, married couples program, a St. Luke Productions presentation, and a vocal Stations of the Cross.
A GiFT means Adults Growing in Faith Together. This team continues to seek out new members! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to participate in this energetic group! Meetings are held on the second and fourth Thursdays at 7 PM in the Parish Center.