“I didn’t even know they were Catholic!” This was an exclamation from one small group leader who held an Arise Together with Christ Season, in her home. She was talking about some neighbors of hers. She was gushing about the community that had developed in her group. Their faith sharing had created a strong bond that had spilled over into friendships that morphed into “family.”
But was this everybody’s experience?
“How was your Arise session this season?” I asked another small group leader. “You wouldn’t believe what happened!” He responded. “One person, who had never been before, joined our group and seemingly seemed a silent participant, confessed in the last session, that our faith sharing had touched her.” The theme for Season IV was Reconciliation. The lady in question said that she understood from scripture that if she wanted to get to heaven she had to forgive. She was not a forgiving person, by nature. But from the New Heart, New Spirit Workbook, she was led to look at forgiveness differently. From praying with her group for Forgiveness, she felt herself open to forgive her “ex”, her parents, her family, etc. Her anger had kept her in a prison of negativity. Praying to be forgiven and to forgive herself, visibly converted her.
“Redemption right before your eyes!” He corrected me; “Redemption before all our eyes. We all saw proof of redemption. Right there.”
And the stories continue….
Each leader that I spoke with related benefits from the Arise Together with Christ Program. From the scripture readings enhancing their Sunday liturgy, to feeling bonded in a community of faith, to serving the community and others with establishing a group prayer line, food for St. Vincent de Paul, helping at the Because He Lives Soup Kitchen, to becoming comfortable in sharing their faith with others, to learning new ways of prayer, to visiting nursing homes, to spiritually adopting seminarians and priests, to donating an ox, cow, pig, goat, chicken…., the list of benefits goes on.
You don’t believe me? You doubt?
Come see for yourself. By the way, this is your last chance to see for yourself. Arise Together with Christ is a three year program. This is our last year. This is our last session. This is your last chance to see what everyone in the parish is talking about. What are you waiting for? Don’t miss out! It’s only a six week commitment. It’s also non-sequential—meaning you don’t have to go every week. Each lesson stands by itself, not dependent on any previous lesson.
Sign up the week end of Sept. 18-19 Groups begin Oct. 3 This is the Last Call.