It is with much sorrow that I have to tell you that our beloved friend of so many years has gone home to the Lord. She will ever be remembered as a Holy, Godly person who never met a anyone she didn’t love, mentor, teach, pastor and support.
I was no exception. She picked me up at my first Life in the Spirit Seminar (LIS) at St Henry’s in Gresham, OR, in 1989. She was part of the core team putting this LIS on and not even really knowing me, charged me with heading up the music ministry for an upcoming Healing Mass. I had been in choirs most of my life
but never as a cantor. She absolutely assured me that I could do it. That was how it began. She was a music prodigy and always led the music for our prayer meetings at St. Henry’s and later at St Anne Parish, Gresham, OR.
I was very bashful, and she worked with me for years, helping me with presentations, voice, reading music. She had been in Toast Masters for years, a music teacher for longer and she shared those gifts with me. She even gave me piano lessons for a while. That failed. I was never able to master reading music.
At some point, she wanted to take our singing ministry on the road. She wrote some of the songs we sung, she put all the harmonies together and she, her daughter Becky, and I sang three-part harmony, at Days of Renewals, a Conference in Southern Oregon, a church Mission St Anne’s and of course every week in our prayer meetings. She had strong pastoral, organizational and Prophetic gifts. She was not only a teacher but a Preacher in the real sense of the word.
She was a founding member of the Portland Oregon Renewal Team, now known as WOCCR, with Fr. Tom Bill. She invited me to be the secretary for PORT in 1990, which I did for several years until they invited me into the group. She and her husband, Jim were formidable leaders. They were loving, kind and humble.
She touched so many people in her lifetime that when God asked her who she had brought to heaven with her, the list was probably too long to read.
God Bless you Caroline. May you rest in Peace. Please pray for us.
Jackie Morgan, Associate Liaison to Fr. Chuck Wood
Fr. Chuck Wood and before him, Bishop Peter Smith and Fr Tom Bill are/were appointed by the Archbishop as Liaisons between Him and the Charismatic Renewal. Fr. Chuck is the Archbishop’s voice to us. He functions as WOCCR’s Spiritual Director and guide. Almost every (Arch)diocese has a Liaison. Every year all are invited along with their Associate and Assistant Liaisons to a National Convocation, held in various areas of the United States. Canada is also represented. This year it was supposed to be Kansas City but actually met via Zoom because of the pandemic. The purpose is Praising God, networking, and learning. One of the big problems is an aging Renewal. So, this year the Steering Committee (Core Team) decided to concentrate on Attracting Youth and Young Adults.
Getting To Know Young Adults and Collaborating with Them in Faith
Here is the rundown of the presentation given by Jim Beckman, NSC Member at the Convocation. It is titled:
Our subject was how to attract youth and young adults. Each generation thinks differently, and it’s important to know how to resonate with the age group you’re interested in. Aiming at gaining that “know how,” we made encouraging progress thanks to our presenter, Jim Beckman. Jim is Executive Director, Evangelization and Catechesis, Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. He’s been in diocesan and parish ministry, evangelization and leadership development for years. He is in his second term on the National Service Committee for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR).
He helpfully summarized research on today’s youth and young adults. For instance, Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996/97) as well as Generation Z (born after 1997), have been accommodated and enabled their whole lives (Note: Some studies end Gen Z in 2010 or 2012). They are out–of–the–box thinkers, technologically advanced, highly motivated for service and community/group activities.
And they have really short attention spans. Estimates of that span? From about twelve seconds for Millennials to eight, for Gen Z. So, capture their attention that quickly if you want longer interaction. As a practical example, consider ads and flyers with lots of pictures rather than lots of text.
People in these generations want the following: 1) to belong; 2) an experience before an explanation; 3) a “guide on the side” over a “sage on the stage”; 4) things to be fun; 5) to not be used—so don’t initially give them jobs to do; and 6) transformation—so you must plan long–term for them.
They are open to faith; that’s important. They need an encounter and relationship with Jesus. They need the truth. We need to do the following: 1) meet them where they’re at. Remember, they are very technology minded, so you’ll find them on social-networking apps like Snapchat or Whisper. You won’t find them on Facebook or, normally, browsing websites; 2) reconnect them with the story— Scripture; 3) engage them in relationship; 4) give them purpose and meaning; 5) mentor them; and 6) accompany them.
When you are trying to attract young adults, don’t use the same old terms, phrases, jargon. For example, don’t identify the initial step as a Life in the Spirit seminar (LIS) aimed at bringing people into the CCR. You see, most people in this age group think being charismatic is for older people and doesn’t relate to them. That doesn’t mean you can’t put on a LIS. Just call it something else. And give it a different “look” than what we went through years ago.
Several millennials attended the end of the evening session, as panelists to answer our questions. Mostly, they echoed Jim Beckman’s message, even though they hadn’t heard it.
They were very happy we sought them out. They want to be part of the Renewal and want a real relationship with the Holy Spirit and with us. They want to be heard and listened to and yet want to do things their way. They don’t identify with the term “Charismatic” but know they are. They want consistency: A constant building–up by events, prayer groups and community. They need goals. So, a prayer group is a good foundation, where they’d like to learn new things and practice them in that safe environment, but then they want to take them out to the Church and try them publicly.
One panelist gave these suggestions: 1) Go to a bar; 2) Listen to all of us and to our stories; 3) Be personally vulnerable and real with us; 4) Unite with our causes.
In other words, go to them. Listen to them, really listen, then listen some more. Share your story when they’re done with theirs. Agree with their causes in so far as they are scriptural and in line with Church teaching. Where their causes aren’t, eventually move them to the truth. For example, a good number of the younger generations have no problem with the LGBTQ+ philosophy. So that would be something to work on.
The advice, “Go to a bar” suggests they like the Theology on Tap approach, which according to the official website of that movement, involves “events held in a restaurant, coffeehouse, even in a bar (normally a banquet room by themselves) —places where young adults already are comfortable and feel welcome. These events feature an engaging speaker presenting a theological topic, time for discussion, faith sharing, and community building.” 1 That’s one instance of how this generation thinks out of the box.
Even though this presentation was given to the national level, there are principles here that we as prayer group leaders and members can adopt. Draw from confirmation classes, advertise in your parish bulletin, put flyers out. Make them colorful. Call it, for example: A Day in your life with the Holy Spirit; or Who is the Holy Spirit; or Should the Holy Spirit be important to you? Advertise food. Depending on the age group you are targeting, make a room reservation at the local tavern. Or do something else. The bottom line is that we have to begin to plan on replacing ourselves.
WOCCR Invites You to join us at one of two planned events this year. Of course, there is the caveat that we are still captive to the Corona Virus and will obey all Parish directives. The WOCCR Team is planning to offer the above events until otherwise notified. We will keep you in the loop.
Fr. Odo Recker, OSB is currently the Director of Vocations at Mount Angel Abbey. Fr. Recker has been charismatic for many years. He came to Portland, OR from Toledo OH.
Music: Will be provided by David Bentz.
Prayer Teams: Will be available.
Day of Renewal with Fr. Tim Furlow
Location: St Rita’s Catholic Church, 10029 NE Prescott Street, Portland, OR, in the RE Center Hall.
Date/Time: Saturday, October 10 from 9 am – 4 pm
Theme: Metanoia-A Deeper Conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ
Fr. Furlow was born in 1982. He graduated from the University of Steubenville, Stubenville, OH in 2007. During those years he was part of the core team of their prayer group. Most recently, he was the Parochial Vicar at the Cathedral and now the Administrator at St. Patrick’s in Portland, OR.
Music: Provided by David Bentz.
Agenda: Fr. Furlow will speak in the morning. After lunch we will have a prayer meeting with ministry.
Refreshments: Please bring your lunch. Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate, water and breakfast snacks will be available.
God Bless you. Now is a time to spend more time with the Lord and to pray for each other. We pray for you to be safe and sound during this cleansing time.