Stockton Ready to Begin ARISE Together in Christ
Season One Coming in September
The RENEW International and Diocese of Stockton, CA ARISE Teams are set for the Season One Small Community Leader Formation Workshops to be held in early September. These workshops will prepare the small group leaders for the six faith-sharing sessions of Season One, Encountering Christ Today, during the fall.
The roll-out of ARISE marks the return of RENEW International to Stockton where the original RENEW process was implemented from 1991 to 1993, and the diocesan leadership looks forward to another positive experience. Bishop Stephen E. Blaire recently shared his support and encouragement in a letter to the people of his diocese:
My Dear People,
Parishes throughout the diocese have formed their teams and are reaching out to their communities in a variety of ways. As part of her parish team, Suzanne Bruns of St. Anne's in Lodi, CA used her own small community experience to invite others to join an ARISE group. She called it, "20 Years of 'RENEW' is About to 'ARISE'."
One of the strongest calls we heard from you in the Synod process was to give priority to the deepening of our faith life. The Synod goal that addresses this issue is titled, "Lifelong Faith Development". This was also a goal of our Capital Campaign, "Church for Tomorrow" which funds most of the costs of the ARISE program.
Our Diocese benefited greatly from the RENEW program which was used years ago as a way to deepen the faith life of our people. ARISE is a new program developed through this same group and will build on much of what we learned with RENEW.
It is my great hope that ARISE will be a source of great spiritual renewal in our parishes. I strongly encourage you to participate in the small faith groups being developed in your parish.
Be assured of my prayer and support as you join this tremendous effort.
For the past 20 years, up to fifteen St. Anne’s parishioners have come together on Tuesday evenings from the months of September to May. Our "RENEW" family have met weekly to share and discuss the readings and gospels for the following Sunday. We gathered together long ago somewhat timid, being amongst new people. As time went on, we grew to trust that our "RENEW" family members would pray for us in our sorrows, support and pray for whatever we, our friends or family were going through, and to laugh and celebrate our joys. Our "RENEW" group grew together into a family of brothers and sisters who genuinely love each other. Our gatherings opened our vision of what God wants to share with us and how to live our lives. Realizing the importance of God in our lives, we became more thankful for our blessings, prayerful in our listening, learning and feeling God's love, presence, and peace. "RENEW" opened our eyes, and we look forward to "ARISE" lifting our spirits as we grow in our faith. We encourage and challenge you to participate in a small group and allow Jesus to “ARISE” within you!
"Sign-up Sunday" is scheduled for September 12.
Click to learn more about ARISE Together in Christ.