Adult Faith Formation

Introduction: The Purpose of Adult Faith Formation

In Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us, a pastoral plan for Adult Faith Formation, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) lays the following goals of Adult Formation:

1. Invite and Enable Ongoing Conversion to Jesus in Holiness of Life.

In response to God's call to holiness, our faith and life as adult disciples are grounded in developing a personal relationship with Jesus, "the Holy One of God" (Jn 6:69, Mk 1:24). Accordingly, "'at the heart of catechesis we find, in essence, a Person, the Person of Jesus of Nazareth. . . .' Catechesis aims at putting 'people . . . in communion . . . with Jesus Christ.'"

As its first goal, faith formation helps adults "to acquire an attitude of conversion to the Lord." This attitude fosters a baptismal spirituality for adults. It leads them to recognize and repent of sin in their hearts and lives, to seek reconciliation through the sacraments, and to embrace the invitation and challenge of an ever deepening faith in Jesus. It means putting on the mind of Christ, trusting in the Father's love, obeying God's will, seeking holiness of life, and growing in love for others. Deepening personal prayer is a significant means toward growth in holiness in daily life.

2. Promote and Support Active Membership in the Christian Community.

As adult believers, we learn and live our faith as active members of the Church. Our response to God's call to community "cannot remain abstract and unincarnated," but rather, "reveals itself concretely by a visible entry into a community of believers . . . a community which itself is a sign of transformation, a sign of newness of life: it is the Church, the visible sacrament of salvation." People find this community of faith in the parish and diocese, as well as in their families, small church communities, personal relationships, faith-based associations, and in the communion of saints of all times and places.

Accordingly, faith formation helps adults make "a conscious and firm decision to live the gift and choice of faith through membership in the Christian community," accepting "co-responsibility for the community's mission and internal life." Adults not only receive the ministries of the Christian community, they also contribute to its life and mission through the generous stewardship of their gifts.

3. Call and Prepare Adults to Act as Disciples in Mission to the World. 

The Church and its adult faithful have a mission in and to the world: to share the message of Christ to renew and to transform the social and temporal order. This dual calling to evangelization and justice is integral to the identity of the lay faithful; all are called to it in baptism. Accordingly, faith formation seeks to help each adult believer become "more willing and able to be a Christian disciple in the world." As salt of the earth and light for the world (cf. Mt 5:13-16), adult disciples give witness to God's love and caring will so that, in the power of the Spirit, they renew the face of the earth.

Excerpted from http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/catechesis/adult-faith-formation/index.cfm

Adult Faith Formation here at Ss. Peter & Paul aims to achieve all three of these goals through educational opportunities, retreats and various forms of communal prayer to promote spiritual growth, and connections to volunteer opportunities in the parish and the larger community. We hope to learn and grow together as intentional disciples of Jesus Christ who bring the gospel message of hope and salvation to our community and our world. To put it simply, our goal is to fulfill the mission Jesus gave us in Matthews 28:19-20: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.”

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Adult Formation Opportunities

Here at Saints Peter and Paul, our aim is to offer quality adult formation throughout the year. All opportunities will be advertised in our parish bulletin and included on the parish website. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please contact Drew Stuart, the Adult Formation Director, by email at dstuart.sspp@gmail.com or by phone at 260-224-0522.

Some of the adult formation opportunities we offer include:

  • FORMED: FORMED is a website that offers faith formation resources for Catholics of all ages, including programs, bible studies, videos, movies, books, and audio talks on a large variety of topics. FORMED has been described as the Catholic version of Netflix. Parishioners can register for and stream material from FORMED at no cost to them as long as the parish continues to subscribe.
    • To register, follow this link: Code for FORMED WIDGET EMBED: <a href="https://formed.org/home?code=7QT7MV"><img width=100% src="http://leaders.formed.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/formed-register-banner.jpg"></a>
      • If the above link does not work, go to www.formed.org, click on the register link and enter your email and the following code: 7QT7MV
    • Various FORMED programs will be offered as Adult Formation studies here at the parish. See the bulletin and parish calendar for more details about the subject matter, dates, and times of these programs.” If you’d like to see a specific FORMED program offered as an Adult Formation Study at the parish, please contact Drew Stuart.
  • Periodic Talks and Presentations
    •  We now offer Theology on Tap style events here in Huntington! Our first presentation, “ISIS and the Crusades” was given by Dr. Adam DeVille and was held at the Berg Ale Haus here in Huntington on November 9, 2017. We are always looking for more speakers and topics. Please see the parish calendar and bulletin for more details about future events. If you have suggestions for future speakers or topics, please contact Drew Stuart
    • Presentations and talks on other faith based and informative topics will be offered periodically. We are hoping to offer presentations on natural family planning and Medicare in early 2018. Details about future presentations will be posted in the bulletin and on the parish Facebook page.

  • Retreats and Prayer Opportunities: The parish offers a variety of prayer opportunities throughout the year, especially around Advent and Easter. See the bulletin and Facebook page for more details
    • Prayer Opportunities
      • Morning and Evening Prayer: Offered periodically. See the bulletin and parish calendar for more details.
      • Eucharistic Adoration: Offered every Wednesday from 6 AM to 6 PM in the Adoration Chapel connected to Gollner Hall.
      • Private prayer: The church is open from 7 AM to around 6 PM every day. Feel free to take advantage of the opportunity for personal prayer.
    • Retreats:
      • A retreat for Lectors and Eucharistic Ministers will be offered at least once a year in the Spring or Fall.
      • We hope to bring Christ Renews His Parish weekends, now rebranded as Welcome by Dynamic Catholic once resources become available in the Summer of 2018.

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Volunteer Opportunities

Part of the process of growing as disciples of Jesus Christ includes finding opportunities to live out our faith by serving others in our parish and in our community. St. James tells us, “Just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). Living out our faith through good works is therefore vital. By serving in our community, we reveal the love of Christ to others. As Jesus said, “This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35).

If you would like to volunteer, please consider the following opportunities:

  • Jail Ministry:  Saints Peter & Paul’s Jail Ministry serves men and women who are currently imprisoned as well those who have recently been released from jail or prison. They are always accepting new volunteers/members. Here’s how you can get involved:
    • Letter Ministry: Correspond with an individual who is imprisoned. The Jail Ministry is currently looking for men who are willing write letters to male prisoners.
    • Annual Book Drive: The Jail Ministry collects books for those imprisoned in the Huntington County Jail.
    • The ministry is expanding and more opportunities will be available. To get involved with this ministry or to learn more for more about volunteering opportunities, please contact Dawn Frecker at dfrecker@citznet.com
  • Love INC: Love In the Name of Christ serves those in need in Huntington County. Love INC is always looking for volunteers. Opportunities include:
    • Community Clearing House: Positions at the clearing house include receptionist, phone operator, resource interviewer, and office worker. Volunteers can serve in the clearing house from one day a month all the way up to multiple days each week.
    • Community Food Pantry: Volunteers with the foodbank may pull orders, stock shelves, unload trucks, and/or interact with clients by helping them fill out their menus
    • Covered With Love: Volunteers serve at Love INC’s used clothing store, which is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Jobs include running the register, folding/sorting clothing, and helping shoppers find what they need.
    • Loving Neighbors: Advocates work with clients to help them reach long term financial/familial stability.
    • Gap Ministries throughout the year:
      • Fill the Truck Thanksgiving Food Drive:
      • Christmas Shop
    • If there’s enough interest, we can set up group volunteer opportunities at Love INC through the parish. Details will be provided in the bulletin and announcements.
    • If you’re interested in volunteering at Love INC, go to http://www.loveinchtown.org/19, fill out the volunteer application on the left side of the page, and take it to the Love INC offices at 15 Byron St. You can call 260-356-0933 for more information.
  • Open Door: Open Door is a ministry based at St. Mary. Every Sunday, volunteers make and deliver lunch to Huntington residents who are in need of assistance.  Open Door includes a variety of volunteer opportunities. Currently, the greatest need is in the following areas:
    • Bakers: Individuals bake cookies, cakes, muffins, etc. for Open Door and drop them off to the Huntington Catholic Middle Building Gym/Cafeteria.
      • To volunteer or more information, call or text Terry Earhart at 260-414-7521
    • Deliverers: These individuals will pick up meals at the Huntington Catholic Middle Building and bring them Open Door recipients on Sunday mornings. Volunteers can deliver on a weekly basis or sign up to serve as substitutes when regular volunteers are unavailable.
      • To volunteer or for more information, contact Haley Vickery at 260-388-8344.
  • St. Anne’s Communities at Victory Noll: St. Anne’s has opened a nursing home at Victory Noll and they are looking for volunteers in several different areas including:
    • Sacristan: St. Anne’s needs sacristans to set up for and put things away after Masses. They have Mass Monday through Friday and Sunday at 5 PM. Volunteers can serve as sacristan one or more days each week. Contact Anne Crawley, the Administrator, at (260) 224-6840 or Anne.Crawley@sacfw.org for more details or to set up a time to volunteer.
    • Ambassadors: Volunteers will help staff the front desk.  Ambassadors will answer the phone, greet visitors, deliver mail, bring a meal tray up from the kitchen, walk visitors to a resident’s room, give a short tour of our building, etc.  This is ideally more of a weekend positions and ambassadors will be asked to serve between two and four hours at a time. Contact Anne Crawley at (260) 224-6840 or Anne.Crawley@sacfw.org for more details or to set up a time to volunteer.
  • New Life Community Meal Ministry: The New Life Community Meal Ministry, located at 323 N. Jefferson Street, serves dinner to Huntington residents in need seven days a week. Dinner is served from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM Monday through Friday and from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday. Volunteers help prepare, set up for, and serve the meal. They are sent a schedule each month and can fill in where there’s an opening. This means there is no commitment and you can serve as little or as often as you like. To get on the email list for the monthly schedule email Bob Burnsworth at rburnsworth@cbrwg.com or call him at (260) 519-3637.

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Small Groups

Small groups/small faith sharing communities are a great way for adults to grow in faith by learning, sharing with, and supporting one another as members of the parish community. We currently groups currently meeting and would love to see more small groups take root. FORMED has many resources small groups can use. If you’re interested in starting a new small group, contact Drew Stuart, the Adult Formation Director, at dstuart.sspp@gmail.com.

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Online Faith Formation Resources

There are many great resources for learning and growing in faith available online:

  • http://w2.vatican.va/content/vatican/en.html: The Vatican’s website includes news, online versions of important Church documents (including the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church papal encyclicals, prayers, biographies of the popes, homilies, and much more.
  • www.usccb.org: The website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Provides access to a variety of resources, including letters and documents released by the conference.
  • www.stpaulcenter.com: From their mission statement, “The St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology is a non-profit research and educational institute that promotes life-transforming Scripture study in the Catholic tradition. The Center serves clergy and laity, students and scholars, with research and study tools — from books and publications to multimedia and on-line programming.” The website includes FREE online bible studies
  • www.newadvent.org: A website the includes free access to an online Catholic Encyclopedia, the writings of the Church Fathers, St. Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologica, and articles on various topics.
  • www.ewtn.com: EWTN’s  official website includes a wealth of resources including Catholic news, faith formation resources, church documents, theological resources, daily Mass, access to Mass readings, children’s content, access to some of EWTN’s TV programming, and much more.
  • www.wordonfire.org: Word on Fire Catholic Ministries’ Website offers faith formation resources, including homilies, videos, articles, etc., especially material from Bishop Robert Barron. While many of the resources on the website are free, some must be paid for. You can search for resources by various categories, including topic, date, and scripture.
  • www.dynamiccatholic.com:  Dynamic Catholic offers physical copies of amazing faith formation resources, including books, sacramental prep, CDs, etc., the only cost to you will be shipping and handling to have these resources sent to your home.
  • www.bustedhalo.com: Busted Halo offers free access to videos, articles, podcasts, etc. on various relevant topics of the Catholic Faith. Busted Halo is great at applying the Catholic faith to our lives and our culture, showing how it is relevant to our world today.
  • http://www.papalencyclicals.net/: As the web address implies, this website gives you free access to papal encyclicals. The left side of the homepage includes encyclicals that are especially relevant to topics/problems in our society today.

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