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Join our fantastic new Lent programme: Invited

January 7, 2021

You are Invited, join our diocesan mission taking place during Lent!

Why a Diocesan Mission?

Before the Covid-19 global pandemic, the Church was experiencing a decline in numbers. Since then, we have lost even more sheep from the fold. How can we encourage people who have disengaged to come back, how can we offer solace and comfort to those who are on the fringes, how can we inspire people who worship at our churches to reach out to those who do not know the goodness of God’s mercy? We can proclaim the Good News! And we use all that we have learnt during this unusual time to reach out in new ways.

Why ‘Invited’?

We will be exploring God’s invitation to enter into relationship with Him and what that means for our lives. It will be a wonderful journey of discovery that helps us to know more deeply who we are in the eyes of God and to live authentically as His beloved. There will be challenges - we may have to take a 'long hard look' at ourselves - but by the end of the programme we aim to be transformed and empowered to become Spirit filled disciples who rejoice in God’s goodness and want to build His Kingdom here on earth.

Who can take part?

The short answer is everyone! This exciting free programme is open to people of all ages and backgrounds - everyone is welcome and all are Invited. This recorded Zoom meeting explains more.

What's involved?

Each Monday during Lent an episode of Invited will be premiered on the diocesan website and across our social media channels. This episode will contain teaching and testimony on a particular aspect of that week's theme, with time for prayer and reflection.

Each Thursday, we will explore the content from Monday's episode during a virtual meeting, while reflecting on the readings for the upcoming Sunday. Not only will this give people a chance to prepare more prayerfully for Mass, but it will give us an opportunity to link the diocesan-wide mission to everyday parish life.

Getting involved and signing up: Thursday's meetings will be held on Zoom. Attendees will be able to register for these on this website (link to follow soon). Under 18s are very welcome but do need to notify us of their age as part of the registration process, so that we can make sure the appropriate safeguards are in place.

Scripts for the episodes and the reflection questions will be available to print for anyone who is not able to join us online. To find out more contact our Formation Team here; E: invited@abdiocese.org.uk

Season One, Lent 2021

Episodes will be premiered on Monday evenings but will continue to be available on our website and social feeds through the week, so that participants can ‘catch up’ with any missed episodes at a time that is convenient for them. The theme for season one is Repent and Believe: What is the Good News?

Episode One

Monday 22nd February - God is love and created us for relationship with Him

Episode Two

Monday 1st March - The relationship between God and man has been broken through sin

Episode Three

Monday 8th March- Jesus restores that relationship through His death and resurrection

Episode Four

Monday 15th March - We are personally invited to accept this gift of salvation

Episode Five

Monday 22nd March - How participation in Holy Week can deepen our understanding of this Good News

Our confirmed speakers include:

·      David Wells – catechist and author

·      Fr Thomas Kent – newly ordained priest, passionate about evangelisation

·      Theresa McNamara – secondary school chaplain, wife & mother

·      Fr David King – parish priest and formation enthusiast

Is the Invited programme a 'one off'?

No! there will be five seasons of mission over five years, taking place at different times in the Churches liturgical year:

Lent 2021: Repent and Believe the Gospel: What is the Good News?

Season one will be entirely web based, with printable resources available to those who do not have access to the internet.

Eastertide 2022: Discipleship: Follow in the footsteps of the first believers

Advent 2023: Incarnation: Why do I need Jesus in my life?

Lent 2024: Baptismal Vocation: A call to Holiness

Eastertide 2025: Pentecost, Holy Spirit: Transform lives, impact communities

Specially Commissioned Music

Each episode in season one will include reflective pieces of music that will help us lift our hearts and minds to God in prayer. They will be accompanied by lyrics so that people can participate in singing or simply allow the words to speak to them as they contemplate their meaning.

One Hope Project, a Catholic worship band are in the process of writing us a worship song around the theme Invitedwhich is a real privilege and blessing. This music will journey with us as we travel through the seasons, tying them all together and weaving its way into our hearts. If all goes to plan, they will be able to perform it live for us at the Pentecost Celebration that will mark the very end of all five seasons.

What can I do to help?

Promote, promote, promote! We cannot do this without you, we want to spread the message of Invited far and wide, and to do that we need you to tell everyone you know, in all your networks. Please follow us on social media and share our posts. In addition, there are several other things you can do:

Parish Priests. Please make sure that Invited is in your newsletters, mentioned in the Parish notices, and promoted on your Parish website. We will be sending out information for you to simply ‘cut and paste’ to make things easier for you. If anyone requests information about Lenten Resources, please direct them towards Invited. If you have been sending newsletters to any housebound parishioners without internet as part of your lockdown experience, don’t forget to involve them by posting them the scripts & reflection questions.

Head Teachers/Chaplains/RE Coordinators. Please make sure that Invited is promoted through all your normal channels of communication with parents. Although we have not been able to provide school specific resources for you this season, please feel free to use the themes within your prayer time at school and encourage your young people to watch with their families.

One of the best things we can all do is to personally invite people. This is an amazing opportunity for us to help others encounter the beauty of our faith for the first time, or to inspire them to engage more profoundly with the Gospel message, or to affirm their strong faith and so enable them to share it with others during the conversations. This really is for everyone, so please use any promotional material we send you to share the Good News that we are Invited!

We would love to hear from you, if you have any questions about this fantastic new initiative you can contact us via email here. The Formation Team look forwarding to welcoming you all this Lent!

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