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Seekers’ Teams An introduction Evangelising Together.

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1 Seekers’ Teams An introduction Evangelising Together

2 Principles  When we know the presence of Christ in our lives we desire that others should know Him too.  Jesus’ mother had that response to His presence within her…  Mary set out to see her cousin Elizabeth full of desire to share the good news.  Elizabeth had the perfect reaction to the meeting. She was honoured by Mary’s visit and her unborn child leapt for joy.  Elizabeth’s faith prompted Mary’s joy, which found free expression in her magnificat.  Like Mary, our joy in knowing Jesus becomes complete when we proclaim Him to others. Seekers’ Teams are formed…  …to respond to Jesus’ great commission to ‘go and make disciples of all nations’. (Matthew 28:19.)  …to be a place where we can learn to share the good news.  …to create events where we can be instruments of the transforming love of God.  …to actively introduce others to Jesus and to recognise Him as Elizabeth did.  …to be places of warmth, truth and love for people seeking God… where we can express our own magnificat.  …to be a human bridge on which others can step towards the Father.

3 What is Church for?  Pope Paul VI wrote: ‘The Church exists in order to evangelise’. He called it our basic duty. (Evangelii Nuntiandi 14.)  For the disciple of Christ the duty to evangelise is an obligation of love.  What is evangelisation for? It is to bring us into the fullness of God’s life.  The early Church lived that life to the full. Acts 2:42-47 illustrates the five parts of the Church’s mission:  ‘ They were faithful to the teaching of the apostles, the brotherhood, the breaking of bread and the prayers. …They distributed what they had to others according to their need. …And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.’  The Church is true to these purposes today: prayer; community; discipleship; service; mission.

4 Discipleship  The Gospel value of mission is the call to an advanced stage in our growth to fullness as Catholics.  Training and ongoing formation in mission is a very important but often neglected part of the practice of our faith.  Seekers’ Teams offer their poverty to God and meet to receive the formation they need.  As we are formed, we grow in love for each other and for all who, one day, will believe.  Jesus said: “Here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of my Father is my brother or sister or mother.” (Mt. 12:49.)  Jesus said: ‘The fully trained disciple will be like his master.’ (Luke 6:40.)  To be a true disciple of Christ we must endeavour to become more like Him: to create our own Nazareth, where, like Jesus, we can grow in wisdom and knowledge.

5 Seekers’ Team beginnings  In 2004 a small group of Catholics came together in Pantasaph, North Wales, to talk about how they could share their faith with others.  They embarked on a programme of evangelisation which encouraged them in their faith…  …saw others come into the Church…  …and increased their own understanding of what being a Catholic really means.  They arranged special events to which they could invite seekers (non-Catholics and the lapsed.)  God blessed their work: people came into the Church & more people joined the Team.  As they evangelised others they began to discover their own hidden gifts.

6 Step by step  From their experience of small groups, the Seekers’ Teams have produced a step-by- step Manual called Evangelising Together to enable parishes to build their own evangelisation teams.  At Pentecost the disciples met in fear and trembling, but when they received the Holy Spirit they went out to share the good news.  The Evangelising Together Manual cannot bring down the Holy Spirit…  …but it equips people who have received Him with ways to reach out effectively.  The Manual offers practical guidance on questions such as: ‘How would we run our meetings?’ and ‘What goes on in a mission?’  There are handouts to copy, prayers, and ideas for the content of your events.

7 Growing together  Evangelisation is about much more than putting on events for seekers.  Being witnesses to Christ is a whole Catholic lifestyle.  The Evangelising Together CD-Rom guides your growth in that lifestyle.  By stimulating ideas, providing spiritual exercises & offering content, the sessions help you to put on special events for seekers and to reach out daily to others with the Lord.  The Evangelising Together CD-Rom accompanies the Manual and provides a simple way to begin evangelistic formation as a Team.  Seekers’ Team formation is a 40 week programme. The CD-Rom contains twenty PowerPoint sessions, leaving twenty meetings free for Team plans and sharing.

8 Seekers’ Associates  As many people want to answer the call to evangelise, but cannot always join a Seekers’ Team, the Seekers’ Associates were formed.  Seekers’ Associates take part in the work of evangelisation by committing themselves…  …to pray for seekers to come to the Teams’ events and to receive the saving gift of faith.  …to pray for the Team members themselves to be effective instruments of God’s love.  …to invite as many seekers as they can to Seekers’ events.  Each receives a quarterly newsletter to keep them up-to-date on the Teams’ activities.  And each shares the new life of the mission.  There is a Conference in Pantasaph each year where Associates and Team members can gather for news, formation and encouragement.

9 New life  Seekers’ Teams answer the question of what is often missing in Catholic life.  Jesus within us says: “Share me.” And we receive…  A new energy and sense of purpose in Catholic life and worship.  A deeper understanding of our belief through formation and learning together.  Stronger relationships through sharing with Team members.  Fresh challenges in faith.  A longing for others to know Jesus and how much He loves them.  A renewed sense of Catholic identity in the Church Jesus founded.  ‘I am the resurrection and the life. … Whoever believes in me shall never die.’

10 Seekers’ Teams... Revision points & Scripture ‘The moment your greeting reached my ears the child in my womb leapt for joy.’ (Luke 1:44.)  When we bring Jesus to others we give the most valuable gift we have - more precious than any other thing.  The disciple of Christ humbles himself ‘as Christ was humbler yet’ & hungers for more knowledge of Him.  Mary’s magnificat then resounds in our lives as we recognise that we carry Jesus within us. ‘When anyone obeys what Christ has said, God’s love comes to perfection in him.’ (1 John 2:5.)  The Church is calling us to step out and evangelise. Love obliges us to share what we have received. ‘Accept Lord the homage of my lips and teach me your decrees.’ (Psalm 119:108.) ‘If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.’ (Revelation 3:13.)

11 Introduction to Seekers Slideshow Copyright Information The Introduction to Seekers Slideshow is copyright © 2014 by Pantasaph Seekers’ Team. Slide 1 Illustration by Elizabeth Wang, T OL, ‘When Our Lady greeted Elizabeth at the Visitation, they praised God for His love. Our Lady held in mind the whole world which Her Son wished to help’. copyright © Radiant Light 2003 – 2012, Slide 3 Cross Palm Branch 011, copyright © Sharon Hujik, andbeautiful.com/2010/03//make-cross-out-of-palm-branch Slide 4 Alarm Clock, Pantasaph community image, copyright © Seekers’ Teams Slide 5 Harvest. The Pantasaph Seekers’ Team has made every effort to trace the copyright holder for this image. We would be grateful for information which would trace its copyright ownership. Slide 6 Evangelising Together Manual, Pantasaph community image, copyright © Seekers’ Teams Slide 7 Evangelising Together Resources, Pantasaph community image, copyright © Seekers’ Teams Slide 8 Bishop Edwin Regan, copyright © Adam Tidswell, Slide 9 Resurrection, copyright © BRADI BARTH,


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