At that moment I understood what the Father was saying to me.
Over the past couple of years the Lord has been undoing the lies I’ve believed about Him for my entire adult life. I used to be rigid and scrupulous, fearful that one mistake would cut me off from God and send me to Hell. I used to see God as a judge who probably only really cared about me when I followed all the rules. I was like the older brother in the parable of the prodigal son, I obeyed and served God, I didn’t understand love and freedom. I didn’t view God as a loving father. This isn’t a platitude, it’s a truly radical belief. I have four kids who I love so much, but I know that I am not a better father than God. Yet somehow I thought God condemned me and others for things that I wouldn’t even condemn my kids for. All too easily I believed God would treat me worse than I would ever treat my kids.
One of the key ways that the Lord untied these lies and revealed His heart to me was through the Kerygma Encounter retreat that I attended and was then eventually trained to lead. The word “kerygma” is Greek for “the good news.” That’s the focus of this retreat, to bring those attending to an encounter with the central good news of our Catholic faith: The Father made me for intimate union with Himself; the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus witness the lengths God will go to recklessly pursue me; and the Spirit heals me and transforms me into the likeness of Christ Himself.
I can’t fully articulate the grace I’ve received from the Kerygma Encounter retreat, both from the times I’ve attended it and the many times I’ve led it. So I was really excited to bring it to the parish last February. It was an amazing day! We had nearly 60 people attend and the things people shared with me afterward pointed to how powerful it was. Here are a couple of the things they said:
It helped me see where I fit into God’s plan for me and how I can take the next step forward in my relationship with Jesus. -Mary Jo Weber
I think this retreat has a lot to offer people who are in many different places on their faith journeys. I’ve planned and been on many multi-day retreats, but I feel like you managed to capture a long retreat in a single day and I haven’t seen that done so successfully before. It was an excellent combination of learning/personal reflection/close encounter with God. I am very thankful I was able to attend. -Katie Tarleton
With all of that in mind, I really encourage you to attend the Kerygma Encounter retreat coming up on Saturday, November 9th from 8:30am-3:30pm in the Activity Center. Monica Pope is coming to help lead it again. This retreat would be great for anyone who may be interested in a full weekend retreat but has had a difficult time getting that to work with their schedule. It’s also a great event for people to invite their non-Catholic or non-practicing Catholic friends and family too.
There's no cost, only a freewill offering at lunch. Please register on the parish website or by calling the parish office so we know how much food to get (we will have coffee and light refreshments in the morning and then sub sandwiches for lunch).
I encourage you to come see what good news the Lord has to reveal to you.