|A season of preparation|
The Covid-19 vaccination programme is a game-changer. Finally it is possible to imagine a future again. How will you use your freedom?
For sure, herd immunity is months away, and there will no doubt be setbacks along the way. But let’s use these months as a time of preparation and reappraisal, like a long and slow-dawning Advent.
We’ll need to set aside a lot of assumptions. The world will have changed – and so will we, our parishes, and the world in which we live. Exactly how it has all changed we have yet to learn. We’re in for a season of discovery.
In this edition of Grapevine we invite you to join Caritas Discovery, a series of online ‘drop-in’ workshops through early 2021. Behind the practical focus of each workshop will lie questions like:
– What has changed?
– What still needs to change?
– Who am I, and who are we, after this time of distancing?
– What new gifts has the Spirit germinated in me?
– Where am I needed?
– What will be our mission now?
And how can we make ready, lamps lit and awake for the birth of a better world?
We look forward to seeing you at one of our workshops in January.
Paul (Programme Leader for Social Action)
In this issue
– Caritas Discovery: workshops in 2021
– Prepare the Future workshop, 7 January
– Diaspora and Diversity in the missionary parish, 14 January
– Journey in Hope: action and contemplation, 20 January
– Together, we are Caritas: completing the report of the conference
– God is in business: economic justice and faith, 14 January
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Running through early 2021, Caritas Discovery workshops will build a diocesan launchpad for missionary discipleship. You are welcome to drop in to any that interest you. They will:
– Explore how the Gospel and Catholic Social Teaching meet the realities of our wounded world
– Help you and your parish to put faith into action, through learning, collaboration and networking
– Develop the support you need to be confident and effective in faith-inspired action.
Prepare the Future
Building post-Covid parishes of welcome, listening and hope
Thursday 7 January 2021, 2.00 – 3.30 p.m.
Pope Francis likens the parish to a ‘field hospital’, and a ‘sanctuary where the thirsty can come to drink’. As life resumes, such hospitality, radical but simple, will be sorely needed by everyone hurt by the pandemic. Our own parishes will be well placed to offer it – both to our own people and to the wider community.
Our first workshop of the new year will help you and your parish start preparations to open up such hospitality when the time is right. Following two lively workshops during the summer, this one will enable you to:
– learn how your parish could open a ‘place of welcome’, ‘listening centre’ or ‘social befriending’ to help local neighbours recover from the pandemic
– assess the preparations that might be needed, with volunteers, facilities and procedures (such as safeguarding and insurance)
– shape a diocesan toolkit and support group, to help your parish navigate the journey to post-Covid missionary hospitality.
Join us by Zoom on 7 January, and help your parish lead the recovery.
Book for ‘Prepare the Future’
Diaspora and Diversity
in the missionary parish
Thursday 14 January, 4.30 – 6.00 p.m.
Nottingham Diocese is blessed with some of the most diverse parishes in the UK – and that diversity is an asset that can be overlooked. At Together, we are Caritas on 7 November, we were aware that there is some work to do to ensure everyone feels included, but also that there is much to celebrate.
For example, over the summer one of the most creative responses to lockdown was a project led by parishioners of Blessed Sacrament, Leicester. They worked with foodbanks to donate foodstuffs appropriate to different ethnic groups in the city. The project’s leaders included Black and minority ethnic parishioners themselves – and their leadership highlights the wealth of knowledge and goodwill that can too often be overlooked.
Diaspora and Diversity will be an opportunity to:
– learn about the challenges faced by people from minority backgrounds, especially during the pandemic
– explore how to go further in mutual understanding, fellowship and shared mission
– help Caritas enable everyone, whatever their background, to share in the ministry of charity.
Book for ‘Diaspora and Diversity’
Journey in Hope
Patterns for action and contemplation
Wednesday 20 January, 10.00 a.m.
The buzz at Together, we are Caritas was that everything we do should be ‘underpinned by spirituality and prayer’. Indeed, ‘the ‘journey of prayer is part of Caritas’.
So Journey in Hope will explore how to help ourselves and others find food for the missionary journey. We’ll gather resources for prayer, patterns for reflection and tools for discernment.
If you are looking for a balance between contemplation and action, join us to:
– Spend time in prayer for each other, and for everyone who will benefit from our service and outreach
– Learn about ways to nourish and reflect on our work for God’s kingdom, and perhaps share your own suggestions
– Explore how we can help everyone in the diocese find support and inspiration for prayerful witness through social action.
Book for ‘Journey in Hope’
The last issue of Grapevine highlighted the keynote talks by Bishop Patrick and Amy Daughton at Together, we are Caritas on 7 November. Here we share two 15-minute videos of the other talks.
Ged Edwards, from Caritas Social Action Network, sets the national and global scene for us in Nottingham Diocese.
Paul Bodenham, Programme Leader for Social Action,
updates you on our Caritas journey so far.
The richest wisdom of the day was the conclusions which emerged from small group discussions. With 84 people gathered over two 90-minute sessions, these conversations drew together over 15,000 person-minutes of discernment! Here in a nutshell are the decisions that were made.
Putting down roots
Everything we do will be rooted in prayer and spirituality. That’s why one of our first Caritas Discovery workshops, Journey in Hope, will explore how to lay that spiritual foundation. Caritas will also help us to put down roots in Catholic social teaching, and lay foundations by building up a knowledge base about what’s going on – needs and opportunities alike.
Today younger people expect faith to make a difference. In fact social action can unite people across generations. We must ensure people with sensory impairments or additional needs can play a full part. And our parishes are enriched by people from many cultural backgrounds, as the Diaspora and Diversity workshop above will explore.
As someone put it at the conference, Caritas is all about ‘creating friendships around what God is calling us to do’. Through opportunities to meet, like Caritas Discovery, we will be able to support each other’s endeavours. Caritas will also put people in touch with partners, in other churches and civil society, who can help each of us fulfil our unique vocation.
Many people have been sad to lose touch with fellow parishioners during the pandemic. We’re gathering best practice to help you update your parish census. An up-to-date database will be essential to help a parish regroup and renew its mission. In our local communities some charitable projects and businesses have folded. So Caritas will help your parish to build a picture both of itself and of the local community in 2021.
Bearing fruit in mission
As we emerge from the pandemic there is a lot of interest in making our parishes ‘places of welcome’. A friendly face can make a huge difference to someone’s mental health. Maybe your parish could offer some basic advice and support? See the forthcoming Prepare the Future workshop above, and watch out for details of our mission planning workshops called Here: Now: Us .That’s a potted version of the dreams that were shared at Together, we are Caritas. If you’ve spotted something of interest, please contact us for more information. Also visit our Faith into Action page on the diocesan website. We recently posted there all the talks, conclusions of the breakout groups, and all the background materials.
God is in Business: economic justice and Christian faith
Thursday 14 January, 11.00 – 12.15 by Zoom
God is in Business invites Christians to join in building a just economy within the ecological limits of the Earth.
Join us to consider what business is for, the impact of globalisation, and the connections between trade justice and climate action – all from a Gospel perspective.
We’ll explore alternatives like ‘doughnut economics’, Kate Raworth’s model of what the economy should really be about – meeting genuine needs and protecting the earth.
It’s a taster in a series of ‘café conversations’ called Plenty! being prepared for the Joy in Enough project of the charity Green Christian.
Click here to find out more and book your place
- Sunday Mass is at All Saints this week
- PPC Minutes – October 2020