One of the biggest and best weekends I’ve ever had was going through our SOULWorks here. My wife and I really enjoyed going through it. It was kind of a spiritual vacation. It’s one of the most amazing experiences.
SOULWorks was [the] spark... [It] really did not give me all the answers I was looking for, but it did teach me how to listen and how to quiet my mind… It also made me realize that there were things I couldn’t do on my own. And that’s where [Fr. John] came in to kind of help guide and plug me into different things from reading, to fellowship with others, to giving back through servant ministry with others; and that’s the kindling. Because you need the kindling to lay on top of the spark in order to really have that fire take hold.
The SOULWorks Weekend… created relationships on a different level that I never would have done in Sunday School or taking communion together.
For the past several years, I experienced a nagging awareness that I needed to do some growing up and maturing in my relationship with God. I want to live a life that is Christ centered, yet I put up roadblocks to this process. You all know the list.It was [at the Weekend] and since that so many moving parts shifted and pushed more roadblocks aside for me. The weekend was truly one that purposely and deliberately put us directly in God’s presence, taught us what was required of us in living Christ centered lives, and made us accountable to God and each other to do the things we learned.
[SOULWorks] has brought spirituality to this church... I was a member of the first group. I cannot tell you how wonderful that weekend was. We learned what we were willing to do to help our priests and to help our church grow.
SOULWorks is just amazing. If you don’t have it, you’ve got to get it.
When I heard about SOULWorks [Spiritual Weekend], I wasn’t sure if I would be welcome, since I’m new to Saint John’s and know few parishioners. But when I asked, I was heartily encouraged to attend, and I never felt less than a valued member of the weekend. I knew before the weekend that I wanted to live my faith more actively. During the weekend, I learned how to begin. Now, my ongoing contact with the SOULWorks community supports my efforts.
[The SOULWorks process], for those who care to participate, moves membership in the church from being in the the passive to active voice (grammatically speaking). The honest exchange of ideas, prayer, study, service, and sharing with others brings home the fact that the church is a group of believers, of pilgrims, of fellow travelers who are seeking to discern and live the Christian life and who encourage each other in that life.
SOULWorks was, and is, an awakening for me. Our attempts to interpret the survey and develop a new spiritual plan for Saint John’s has been a chance to apply what I do for a living (marketing, research, and communication) to the growth and expansion of my faith and Saint John’s.
[This] process is more like gardening than building. As with any meaningful spiritual growth, it’s never “done”. We will continue to shape our spiritual relationships one day at a time, one small seedling at a time, and do the work and give the care to our own souls that we need to thrive.
[At SOUL Suppers] we’ve had very diverse groups of people that come, all ages, people that, even though I’ve been here all of my life, people I don’t know very well, people that sing in the choir, people that go to all of our different three services. It’s been just a really fun and exciting thing to see people come together as a community and share a meal and visit together, and I think people have really loved it.
[Manna House] is where I’m supposed to be. It is. It’s different from all of the other volunteer stuff I’ve done, and I’ve done a lot. But it’s just God confirming that this is where I’m supposed to be. And if it weren’t for SOULWorks, I would not have gone.
It’s important to me. I [pray the rosary] every day. Fr. John got me started probably 7 or 8 years ago. It’s sort of turning inward to myself and turning to God at the same time. It’s a meditative practice that allows me to really truly pray and focus on my relationship with God in a daily manner. And as one of the parts of [SOULWorks], we’ve developed that here . We’ve got a small group that meets the first and third Friday of every month and prays together.
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