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The Preparation Process
     
  The Preparation Process
The local mission team meets weekly for four weeks prior to the mission celebrations. These meetings generally take about an hour and a half. A mini-retreat for the local mission team will be conducted by the mission preachers Saturday before a parish mission begins or Friday evening before a weekend retreat begins. This helps the local mission team and the mission preachers to get to know each other, complete any last minute tasks that might need to be taken care of, and prepares the team members spiritually for the celebrations they will participate in.

While part of the preparation process involves completion of specific tasks related to preparing for the mission, the most important reason for these gatherings is the spiritual preparation of the team members. Even if all of the practical details have been taken care of in less than the suggested number of meetings, all of the meetings should be held in order to help the members of the local team become better acquainted with the spiritual aspects of the mission prior to the celebration of the mission.




Sample Meeting Outline

The following is an outline of the first meeting of local parish mission team preparing for the Proclaiming Abundant Love mission. Outlines for all of the meetings are part of the planning manual which can be downloaded elsewhere from this website.





Introductions

This is especially important if the members of the local mission team do not already know each other very well.

Each member of the team is invited to introduce themselves by telling the group their names, something about themselves that they think others might want to know, and by answering this question: What do you hope happens to this parish as a result of this parish mission?





Opening Prayer – Faith Sharing

(This method is used at every meeting of the local mission team and is designed to be used for faith sharing during the follow up of the mission. It is a simple method that can be used with any scripture reading. A simple one page - two sided - handout of the method can be downloaded from the "Download" page of this website.)

Listen for a Word
As the gospel is read, listen for a word or a phrase that stands out for you.

Read the gospel.

Share the word or phrase with the people in your group. Do not explain.

Listen for a Person, and Image, and Idea
If the gospel story is a story or an event: As the gospel is read again, whom do you identify with? Which character would you be?

If the gospel story is a teaching given by Jesus: As the gospel is read again, which idea or image really speaks to you today?

Read the gospel.

Share the person, image or idea with the others in the group. Do not explain it. After each person has shared, then ask them to share the reason why they chose that person, image or idea.

Listen and Learn
As the gospel is read one last time, what did you learn about God, about Jesus, about the Church, about yourself from this gospel? What questions did it raise for you about God, Jesus, the Church, your faith, etc.?

Read the gospel.

Share what your learned and what questions were raised by today’s gospel.




An Introduction to the Focus of the First Celebration

The focus of the first celebration during our parish mission is that we are people of the covenant. Through our baptism, we, like Jesus, were called God’s beloved sons and daughters – those with whom God is well pleased. We may, at times, be tempted not to believe that, but God has called us his children and God is well pleased with us. Our sins have been washed away in the blood of the lamb. We are God’s chosen people – people with whom God has made a covenant – people who are indeed God’s beloved.



Tasks

Review the "Areas of Responsibility" on pages 6-9 of the planning manual. If members of the local mission team have not already been assigned these various responsibilities, ask for volunteers from among the team members. If there are more members of the local team than responsibilities, some assistant coordinators might be appointed so that everyone on the team has some responsibility for the mission.

Review those tasks which need to be accomplished immediately – such as arranging for places for the liturgy of the word for children and the socials, as well as intercessions at Mass next Sunday, prayer cards, handouts, bulletin announcements, etc.




Closing Prayer

Use the Prayer for the Mission as the closing prayer for each and every meeting that is part of the planning process.

Almighty and ever loving God,
you created humanity
to share your love.
You entered into a covenant
with your chosen people
so that your love might grow.
You redeemed us
and washed away our sins
in the blood of your Son.
You dwell in us
as we share the cup of salvation
with one another.
Renew in us your saving grace
as we celebrate our parish mission.
As your abundant love is proclaimed,
may we learn to live that love more fully.
May our parish be transformed
by the proclamation of our salvation
in Christ and through his Blood.
We ask this in his name
who is Lord for ever and ever.
Amen.



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