A TEAM is a strong concept. I am not referring to the ’80’s Mr. T series, but I am using this concept that is one of the best examples of community, as an acronym for engaging in ministry and volunteering. A TEAM is a way that I invite you all to advance the ambitious mission of Holy Family Catholic Community. Beginning this weekend, I am urging you to use this acronym to become an even more important part of one the best teams—Holy Family. A TEAM stands for ASK, TALENT, ENERGIZE, AFFIRM and MISSION.
This weekend we are hosting a Ministry Fair and are seeking to engage everyone in some simple discernment in light of our parish mission, which is to engage all in the sacramental life through vibrant worship, life-long learning and passionate community. I am encouraging you first to prayerfully consider the talents, skills, interests, passions, gifts and time that God has given you. Once you identify these talents and gifts, consider that our mission here at Holy Family is carried out by over 125 ministries, activities, programs and events. Many are carried out by ministers who have had extensive training and formation, but who are also supported by volunteers who are equally important to their success. Ministers and volunteers blend together here at Holy Family in very unique ways. They often lead to each other. Ministers in a certain area volunteer in others and volunteers in many ministries become ministers. I would encourage you not to get too hung up on the distinction, but rather simply to start with yourself and the gifts and talents that God has blessed you with.
Consider a story about a woman who recently joined our wedding ministry, She was asked to join by one of the current ministers and at first declined because she travels extensively. When the wedding minister explained that she could choose the weddings that she helped to coordinate based on her schedule, she offered that she didn’t know that it was possible for her to choose. The result is that we have a new wedding minister.
Time is one of the most precious commodities these days. Clarifying the time commitment of certain ministry or volunteer opportunities can be crucial in the discernment process. Consider what you are good at, what you like, what you are passionate about and how you can serve, and then what you willing to give in light of the ministry needs here at Holy Family.
The second thing I ask is for you to consider your role in others’ discernment and to take a more active role in encouraging them. So let’s go back to A TEAM. Not only am I asking all of you to personally discern, but I am asking you to be an important agent in another’s engagement. You may be an important part of how God is calling another. So I believe that God calls as follows. A stands for ASK. Ask someone to consider one of our ministries here at Holy Family, but don’t make it an impersonal ask based the fact that we have several ministry opportunities. An example of ASK is, “Have you ever thought about being a catechist?” Then link your ask to their TALENT. For example, “Explaining things in a simple way seems to be one your gifts!” The E stands for ENERGIZE. Share your personal experience of ministry and how it has ENEREGIZED you and your faith journey. An example is, “I’ve been a catechist for 5 years now and I think I have learned more about my faith than the kids have.” The second A is for AFFIRM. For example, “If you decided to be a catechist here, I think you would be a good one.” And finally M for MISSION. For example, “Our younger parishioners would really benefit from your talent and it would help them in the endeavor of life-long learning.” Tie in your invitation to our mission and purpose here at Holy Family.
Finally, I ask that you put the fruits of your discernment into action. Seek more information after Masses this weekend. Connect your talent with our mission and our needs here at Holy Family. Ask and affirm someone else and engage them more in our mission. Every ministry here at Holy Family can use new blood. Many are humming along, but eventually will need new members, and new leadership. Literally any talent or skill that God has blessed you with can be used to advance our overall mission by advancing the mission of a particular ministry.
In light of that, I have asked parish leadership to identify areas of greater need or greater opportunities for ministry and volunteers. You will see them listed on the cards in the pews. Right now the areas of greatest need are: CATECHISTS (teaching faith classes usually 7-10 students at levels from 3 year olds to sophomores in high school – currently we need assistance in grades Pre-K thru 7); PADS (providing a welcoming atmosphere for homeless guests on Sunday evenings beginning at 4pm through Monday mornings at 6am); USHERS (provide a welcoming presence at weekend Masses including some set up before mass, seating people, assisting in passing the collection plates and general greeting); PROCLAIMERS (proclaiming scripture or the Prayers of the Faithful during weekend liturgies); HOSPITALITY (serving coffee, cookies and other light snacks following weekend Masses); MINISTERS OF CARE (bringing communion to people who are homebound, in nursing homes or hospitals).
All of our volunteers and ministers receive training and formation for whatever you seek to do and however you seek to serve, so please don’t let any lack of knowledge or experience prevent you from sharing your God given talent to advance our Holy Family mission!! God is calling you and God is calling through you!!