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Online Retreat 2014: Reflecting on Ministry

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What is Ministry? What do ministers do? What are some of the attitudes that ministers need to cultivate?

These are all questions that Steve Bevans,S.V.D., in this year's retreat, addresses in seven short presentations. He doesn't answer them directly, though. Rather, he gives a number of "theses" or "descriptions" of what ministry is and what ministers are about.

Some of these theses: Ministry is done in the name of Jesus Christ; Ministry is ecclesial; Ministry is collaborative; Ministry is being ministered to; Ministry is open to all Christians.

Watch the videos. Reflect on the quotations for reflection. Pray for guidance. Share your thoughts and reflections with others. Have a great retreat!

To access the discussion forum on Facebook, click here:

Overview

Introduction

Thesis 1: Christian Ministry is Witness to Jesus Christ

Thesis 2: Christian Ministry is Ecclesial

Thesis 3: Christian Ministry is Universal

Thesis 4: Christian Ministry is a Vocation

Thesis 5: Christian Ministry is Collaborative

Thesis 6: Christian Ministry is Catholic

Thesis 7: Christian Ministry is a Ministry

Thesis 8: Christian Ministry is an Exercise of Authority

Thesis 9: Christian Ministry is Praxis

Thesis 10: Christian Ministry is Done in Prayer

Thesis 11: Christian Ministry is Holistic

Thesis 12: Christian Ministry Takes Cognizance of the Other

Thesis 13: Christian Ministry is Being Ministered To

Thesis 14: Christian Ministry is "convivence"

First Installment

Introduction

Thesis 1: Christian Ministry Is Witness to Jesus Christ

Thesis 2: Christian Ministry Is Ecclesial

Click here to download the text of the first installment.

For your reflection:

Reflect on the following two quotes:

  • "God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ... and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ..." (2 Cor 5:19-20)
  • "I am because we are." (African Proverb)

Second Installment

Thesis 3: Christian Ministry is Universal

Thesis 4: Christian Ministry is a Vocation

Click here to download the text of the second installment.

For your reflection:

Reflect on the following two quotes:

  • “Ministry is the vocation, privilege, and responsibility of all the members of the Church” (U.S. Bishops)
  • “We are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people God claims as his own to proclaim his glorious works” (1Pet 2:9)

Third Installment

Thesis 5: Christian Ministry is Collaborative

Thesis 6: Christian Ministry is Catholic

Click here to download the text of the third installment.

For your reflection:

Reflect on the following two quotes:

  • "There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit." (1 Cor 12:4)
  • "Now you are Christ's body and individually parts of it. " (1 Cor 12:27)

Fourth Installment

Thesis 7: Christian Ministry is a Ministry

Thesis 8: Christian Ministry Is an Exercise of Authority

Click here to download the text of the fourth installment.

For your reflection:

Reflect on the following two quotes:

  • "One doesn't become a minister to become a minister.... One becomes a minister to do ministry." (Richard McBrien)
  • "Earthly kings lord it over people. ... Yet it cannot be that way with you. Let the greater among you be as the junior, the leader as the servant." (Lk 22:25-26)

Fifth Installment

Thesis 9: Christian Ministry is Praxis

Thesis 10: Christian Ministry is Done in Prayer

Click here to download the text of the fifth installment.

For your reflection:

Reflect on the following two quotes:

  • "Christian leaders of the future will have to be theologians." (Henri Nouwen)
  • "Christians in the future will have to be mystics, if they are to be Christian at all." (Karl Rahner)

Sixth Installment

Thesis 10: Christian Ministry is Holistic

Thesis 11: Christian Ministry Takes Cognizance of the Other

Click here to download the text of the sixth installment.

For your reflection:

Reflect on the following two quotes:

  • "Action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world [are] a constitutive dimension of preaching the gospel." (Synod of Bishops)
  • "What do you want me to do for you?" (Mk 10:15)

Seventh Installment

Thesis 13: Christian Ministry is Being Ministered To

Thesis 14: Christian Ministry is "Convivence"

Click here to download the text of the seventh installment.

For your reflection:

Reflect on the following two quotes:

  • "The evangelizer must first and constantly be evangelized." (Paul VI)
  • "The Word became flesh and dwelled among us." (Jn 1:18)
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