Way back in September, our parish began a year of reflection on the healing power of Christ and our need for spiritual wellness. Through our various message series and bulletin articles, we’ve tried to offer support and advice to help you assess and increase your spiritual health quotient. All through this year since early September, we’ve been working together on spiritual healing and improving our overall sense of well-being through faith.
We began the year with a message series called Holy Triage. There, we looked at our need for healing by considering a number of spiritual problem areas that can fester in our lives. Then, we looked at ways that we can bring God’s healing, light, and love to our own neighbors and neighborhoods in a series we called, Next Door: The Art of Neighboring.
During the Christmas season we talked about how to bring comfort and healing to our families during the holidays in a series called, Family Matters: Bring Home The Hygge. We kicked off the New Year on a positive note with a series called, Spiritual Life Hacks, where we examined simple spiritual tweaks that could improve our everyday lives.
In our series just before Lent called, Spin Doctoring, we thought about how to work through life’s setbacks in a healthy and constructive way by turning our negatives into positives. Our Lenten series, Bare Necessities, helped us to cut back, trim down, simplify, and de-stress our lives by learning to be satisfied with what God already provides us.
Now in this final series of the regular preaching season, that we’ve been calling, To Be Continued: Fearless Evangelization, we’ll be learning how to keep the ball rolling by doing what so many Christians dread to do—hand on the healing power of faith to others. Our desire is to show you how marshaling the strengths you already have can be an incredibly effective way of bringing the message of Christ to the world. The point of the series is to help you continue the healing that hopefully you have experienced in your life over the course of this year by passing it on to others.
In last week’s message, we told you that the most honest, straightforward, and effective way of communicating the message of Christ to other people is by living your own life truthfully, sincerely, authentically. When others see the happiness and freedom you enjoy when you become the true you God envisioned, his glory will be manifest and others will be drawn to do the same.
This week, we consider a rather unexpected way of evangelizing others. It’s a method that will reap incredible fruit, not only for those who hear the message but for you personally. Listen live at church on Sunday or online by scrolling to the top of this page to discover this unique and powerful tool for spreading the message of Christ.
--Father Roger Gustafson, Pastor
Easter Sunday marks the beginning of our brand new message series that we’re calling, To Be Continued: Fearless Evangelization. In this Year of Healing and Spiritual Wellness at Saint Brendan, we’ve been reflecting on the healing power of Christ. Through our various message series and bulletin articles, we’ve tried to offer support and advice to help you assess and increase your spiritual health quotient and overall sense of well-being.
As Easter begins, we now want you to think about bringing to the wider world whatever healing and growth in wellness you have experienced this year. Like the Apostles after the resurrection of Christ, we want to help you “continue” those spiritual health-giving effects in the lives of your loved ones and other people around you. In this new series, we’ll be learning how to keep the ball rolling by doing what so many Christians dread to do—hand on the healing power of faith.
No need to pump your brakes here. Whether you’re a lover, a socialite, a tortured introvert, a forgiving and understanding individual, or all-around holy person, this series is for you. In fact, we’ll be learning how to marshall all of those strengths to bring the message of Christ to the world and use words only if absolutely necessary! You will learn how to fearlessly evangelize, but to do it from your own comfort zone.
Check out our homily guide on the next page for the first episode. If you missed our live message, you always can listen to it at www.stbrendanparish.org.
We’re also going to encourage you again to consider trying out a small group. There’s no safer place to test drive how it feels to share your faith and pass it on to other people. As Catholics, we too often believe that only a priest or religious sister or brother has anything of spiritual value to offer. But in truth, all of us can learn from each other.
Faith is not exclusively—or even mostly—about dogmas and doctrine. Spirituality is a lived experience, and we all live it differently. In fact, that’s the very definition of discipleship: faith put into action. Hearing stories of how other people are impacted by the message of Jesus can help you continue that message yourself. You’ll never be put on the spot or asked to speak in a small group. But over time, you’ll begin to trust your other small group members and feel comfortable sharing. We have almost twenty active, thriving groups meeting regularly. From bible studies, to the fundamentals of the Christian faith, to Marian devotions, there’s a group for every type of person.
Lives are being changed in our small groups. Be fearless and check it out. There’s never an obligation to continue in a group, only to continue the faith!
--Father Roger Gustafson, Pastor
Over the last five weeks of our Lenten message series that we have been calling, Bare Necessities: Getting Back To Basics, we’ve been exploring how God provides for us and his providence, whatever that turns out to be in our lives, is truly enough for us. The series has been about cutting back, slowing down, simplifying, and relaxing with the assurance that God ultimately takes care of us and gives us everything we need.
Each week, we discovered a new gift that God provides us free of charge:
Today on Palm Sunday, Christians around the world reflect on Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem, followed all too soon by his public arrest, humiliation, and crucifixion. In the course of those events, the disciples were fed and promptly fell asleep! They were protected from the worst of the atrocities, while in his darkest hour Jesus clung to his Father, who three days later led him to the dawn of a new beginning for all humanity. The bare necessities were enough for Jesus and his followers.
As his disciples, we can strengthen others by offering them these same gifts on behalf of God:
Listen to our weekend message to fill in the blanks!
--Father Roger Gustafson, Pastor
In this week of our message series, the Bare Necessities: Getting Back To Basics, we shall look at how God makes all things new for His faithful Children.
As the prophet Isaiah wrote: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (43:18-19).
Sometimes God wants to do something “new,” and yet we are still stuck in the “old.” It is hard at times to let go of what is familiar, and what we know. It seems easier to stay comfortable to just keep going with the flow, not to mess anything up.
For those who like change, “new” is mostly exciting. For those who don’t like change, “new” is mostly stressful. But here is what I love about God. He thinks and works outside our own box of
thinking. He doesn’t always work in the ways that we would have chosen for our “new.” God sees the big picture. He knows what He is doing. He works behind the scenes of our life that unfold our everyday in the places where we can’t always see or understand all the “why’s.”
People move, life happens, decisions are made, many change jobs, kids grow up, and there are times we might go through some really tough struggles. We may even start to feel cheated, like life is unfair. But it still breathes the truth: God is not finished with our lives yet. You are still here and He has great purpose in all that you walk through, even in every life change and season.
New is one of God’s promises to us, and we know that all of his promises are fulfilled in Jesus Christ (See 2 Corinthians 1:20). As believers, our hope ultimately rests in the promise that Christ will come back for us one day and make all things new.
God makes things new because:
Listen to our weekend message to fill in the blanks and believe that God will do something new when we get back to the basics of our lives.
--Father Celestine Tyowua, Pastor
Father Roger Gustafson