The Life in the Spirit Seminars piloted chiefly by our Parish Priest, Fr Steve Wymer and Christine Parker were a huge success. The support from the parishioners was fantastic. We had in attendance over 170 zealous Christians who participated actively. It was an event that can never be easily forgotten in St Edmund’s; its memories will live with us forever. Therefore, a follow up is important. What are the fruits or benefits of the Life in the Spirit seminars to St Edmund’s church? Yes, the seminars have ended but the spirit has not, and life continues.
The essence of the seminars is to beget disciples; missionary disciples for Christ, to ignite the spirit of God in our lives into action (fan the gifts of God into action 2 Tim 2:6). The seminars were meant to keep us alive in the spirit, hence, Life in the Spirit seminars. The talks and prayers at the seminars were to exhilarate our spiritual lives to another level. The big question now is, what level are you after the seminars? In the wisdom of Cardinal John Newman, ‘…..to live is to change and to live better is to change often.’
The Life in the Spirit seminars at St Edmund’s challenge us to a new life, a life guided by the spirit (Gal 5:16). Its purpose is to activate in us the fruits of the spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Good-ness, Faithfulness, Humility, and Self-control (Gal 5:22). Our hearts after the seminars should be a fertile ground for the above fruits to bear and multiply to the whole world.
The divine initiative is for pastoral ministry; becoming missionary disciples. God’s gifts are action gifts, service gifts to be given out practically. The gifts (charisms) gained from the seminars are for the common good, the good of the church, the church of St Edmund’s in particular (charity begins at home). The seminars empowered us greatly for pastoral ministry as we share in the royal priesthood of Christ faithful. The seminars opened the doors for collaborative ministry rooted in love and openness. What are we waiting for? Let us bring the seminars into action.
The action of the seminars:- In the prayer manual for the seminars, this commitment prayer is fantastic and a good tool to be used after the seminars; Stir up your spirit in me, release your spirit in me, baptise me with the fullness of your spirit that I may experience your presence and power in my life, that I may find new meaning in your scriptures, that I may find new meanings in the sacraments of the church, that I may find delights and comfort in prayer, that I may be able to love as you love and forgive as you forgive, and that I may discover and use the gifts you give me for the life of the church.
This is the radical change the spirit expects of us after the seminars.After the seminars there were lots of feedback and testimonies – let us put them into action. The various arms of the church of St Edmund’s are in dire need of disciples: The choir, lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, charismatic/bible study group, welcome/hospitality group, brass cleaners, catechists, MCs, SVP, et al. The seminars remind you of identification, try to belong and find out what you can do. Let the church continue to be alive by your active contributions.