Renewing our faith life—as individuals and as Church—is an ongoing part of what it means to be Catholic. In 2008, we began a three-year program designed to help renew parish life and to help parishioners strengthen their spirituality. Called ARISE: Together in Christ, the program is designed around the concept of bringing parishioners together in small groups. Members of the groups meet weekly over a six-week period. They share their faith experiences with one another, reflect upon how they are encountering God in everyday life, and look for ways to connect faith to action.
Two important objectives of ARISE are community building and evangelization. Feedback from the first session revealed those objectives were met in a variety of ways. Parishioners were surprised and delighted with the renewed sense of community that resulted. Some took advantage of opportunities to invite family members or friends to accompany them to ARISE. One of the most exciting developments was that ARISE spread beyond the parish. Participants brought the program with them to other aspects of their lives. Examples include parishioners who volunteer in a nursing home starting a program there and others who brought the ARISE books with them to Florida for the winter, leading a program there.
At St Joseph Parish, Arise has now become Faith Sharing and continues as a vibrant part of our Parish Life. Faith Sharing meets at the following times:
- Monday at 9:30am in Our Lady’s Room
- Wednesday at 7:30pm in the St. Joseph Room
- Thursday at 7:00pm in Our Lady’s Room