Generations of Faith
As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s grace. 1 Peter 4:10
January 2nd News Update
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and blessed Wednesday!
It’s been a long time since we last gathered for GOF. The memories of Santa may be in the past, but our celebration of Emmanuel still continues! I hope the bells we gave out at the Carol Festival helped keep the reason for the season whispering at you throughout all the hustle and bustle. The season of Christmas continues on for us disciples! It’s just the 8thday of Christmas if you go by the song (8 Maids a Milking) …….and there’s much more to come no matter how you look at it.
It’s a wonderful disruption to normal – the days off of school and work have us a bit off kilter – maybe I’m speaking just for myself but I’ve had to remind myself more than once today that it’s Wednesday, not Monday, and 2019, not 2018. And maybe that is good, that the coming of Christ has disrupted our normal pattern, our normal routine. Now if we can use that disruption to open ourselves even more to Emmanuel……..
As our season of Christmas continues, and we head towards El Dia de los Reyes, the Day of the Kings - or the Feast of Epiphany as most of us know it - I just wanted to reach out and remind you that next week we gather again for Generations of Faith.
During our opening we will mark the doors of the Gathering Space with the blessing of the 3 Kings, and encourage you to mark the entrance of your home with the blessing as well. We will use the occasion to pray that our hearts and homes be open to Christ and to all those in need.
Wednesday Volunteers Here’s our regular job categories. I’ll have a sign up sheet for the second semester out on Wednesday so you can schedule yourself for dates that work for you. If you haven’t volunteered yet, please do so – if you have, please reach out to someone new to join you so they can learn the ropes. None of the jobs are difficult and most can actually be fun.
Staff the registration table
Clean up/ put things away after meal
Middle School Lock-In This is a great event for middle schoolers! We’ve been participating in this for the past several years through the fearless and boundless energy of our Middle School GOF leader Kat Gettelman. We strongly encourage all our middle schoolers to participate! The event is led by and put on by the combined efforts of several parishes (WSYM = West Side Youth Ministers)
We also need some parents and high school students to volunteer to help. High School students receive service hours for their efforts. Please contact Kat to volunteer email@example.com or 920.619.0293.
St. Matthew to host Human Trafficking Awareness Vigil
This is an important issue for all of us as parents. Please consider joining us Friday January 11 to increase your knowledge and understanding of this issue. The event is open to anyone in the community so please feel free to share.
Generations of Faith - Religious Education for Public School Families
One of the most important things we do as parents is to help our children develop a relationship with their God. At St. Matthew we support families in that endeavor through our Generations of Faith program. Generations is open to everyone in the parish community but is especially important to our families using public education. It’s a time and place for us to support each other and together learn about our God and our Church. Special age level breakouts allow us to explore our faith in a manner that fits where we are at life, whether it be elementary, middle school, high school or adult.
As we look ahead to the start of a new school year we invite families new and old to sign up for this year’s program.
If you have questions contact Mike Westenberg at the parish office, 435-6811 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What is Generations of Faith?
Generations of Faith is our parish catechetical program that utilizes a whole family, all ages approach to formation. A special focus is given to families utilizing public schools but all families and all ages are invited to participate. Age appropriate breakouts included with full group prayer and catechetical activities. 2018/2019 Calendar coming soon!. Ready to Register Your Family?
Volunteers - We Need You! There are many volunteer opportunities within the Generations of Faith program.
Generations of Faith FAQs
Why is Generations two sessions per month?
- Meeting weekly is difficult when trying to include whole families in the program, and meeting only once per month didn’t give us continuity between sessions.
- A twice-monthly format allows us to build community more effectively and allows a deeper connection to the parish, especially for our children.
- A twice-monthly format allows us to introduce material in the first session and then deepen and reinforce learning in the second.
- Two sessions a month allows us the opportunity to use a hybrid approach of teaching more from the Bible, utilizing the lectionary readings from Mass, as well as incorporating more doctrine and learning from our tradition.
- A twice monthly session allows us to better support parents in passing on their faith to their children.
Why whole families?
Whole families are part of the whole community catechesis approach. Numerous studies have shown conclusively that whole family catechesis is much more effective in nurturing the faith of children and youth while supporting parents in developing households of faith. In using whole families in a whole community format, all ages learn the same material, but in a way that is accessible to that age group. With parents and adults present, what has been learned is brought home as a shared experience for further discussion.
You said “whole family”……what ages?
Our program includes sessions for those in Kindergarten and older. We also provide on-site child care for those who are younger.
You said “whole family”……what if we can’t all come?
We understand that in real life perhaps not everyone can come – know that everyone who can come is welcome. We also know that on given nights parents might be tied up with work or other commitments; hopefully at those times friends, neighbors or other family can “adopt” the children so they are still able to come.
What if my spouse isn’t Catholic? Can he/she come?
Of course! Your whole family is welcome, and in situations where the parents are different denominations or faiths and the children are being catechized Catholic, its good for the non-Catholic parent to understand what we are teaching our children. We want to support you in your situation.
What if my family isn’t a “traditional” model?
Your family is your family. How you define it is how we accept it. We are here to support you in your journey to deepen your relationship and your family’s relationship with Christ and the Church.
How long do sessions last?
The Wednesday sessions will have the following schedule:
- 5:15 – 5:50 Dinner, come when you can
- 6:00 – 7:35 Learning session
So what does a typical session look like?
Participants arrive and check in/register in the Gathering Space. Volunteers at the registration table welcome you, let you know any special information you need to know prior to the session, and direct you to the meal. The meal for the session is held in the school basement. During the meal we will do a group prayer of blessing and invite conversation with those around you with some starter questions; we’ll also do reminders regarding the time and place the lesson will begin. The start of the lesson is usually a “whole group” time including an opening prayer and introduction of the focus for the session. At that point we dismiss into age groups and go to our designated areas with our leaders. The rest of the time is spent learning together with others in our general age groups. At the end of the lesson time all groups reconvene in the Gathering Space so parents can collect their children and materials, we can say our good-byes, and it’s homeward bound!
We want our child to make their First Communion. Will they be prepared for that during GOF sessions?
We have special programs that focus on the preparation for First Communion or First Reconciliation. The expectation is that families are regular participants in our GOF program, but each sacrament has its own special process for preparation.
How does the fee work? Do we only pay for the sessions we attend?
The participation fee is not broken down by individual months or sessions. Fees go to support the overall program, much like the way I have to pay my YMCA fees whether I use the facilities that month or not.
Do we pay extra for the meals?
The program fee does not cover meal expenses. We offer the meals to promote building community and developing relationships among participants (breaking bread together) as well as to make it easier for people to attend at that time. We always have a donation basket out for contributions for the meals. In terms of donations for the meals, we try to keep our costs low so that if we receive around $2 per person we can come close to covering our expenses. Also, we try to recruit “meal sponsors” – businesses, families or individuals who contribute financially to offset our food cost for a given month.
Can we skip the food and just come for the lessons?
The short answer is yes. We offer the meals to promote building community and developing relationships among participants (breaking bread together) as well as to make it easier for people to attend at that time. But if that does not work for you or your family, you can come just for the lessons.
Cancellation Policy: If Green Bay Public schools cancel evening activities and/or school for the day then Generations will also be cancelled. A 2-hour delay in the morning will not cancel Generations.