I was trying to explain to one young woman at the Called & Gifted workshop in Brooklyn last weekend about the values of the "Nameless Lay Group" which preceded the Institute - and remembered that I had blogged about it 3 1/2 years ago. In light of the post about the extraordinary happenings at Most Precious Blood parish below, I thought that it was time to trot out that post in order to explain what we used to refer to as the "It is Normals".
In the beginning, before the Institute, there was . . .the Nameless Lay Group
In the fall of 1993, a group of young adult friends in Seattle (including me, "the other Sherry" and her husband and Mark Shea among others) got together to create a support group for lay Catholics that we called the "Nameless Lay Group" because we couldn't think of a good name. Over time we became attached to being Nameless. The NLG was the most powerful and concrete experience of a Christian community centered around discipleship that any of us have experienced as Catholics.
Anyway, Sherry C just found and sent to me last night a copy of our initial founding vision or as we knew it, the "It is Normals".
That we would be a Catholic community that nurtures the faith and gifts of lay Catholics, enabling them to become effective, committed disciples of Jesus Christ who have discerned and are living out their God-given mission in life.
1. It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to have a living, growing, love relationship with God.
2. It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to be excited Christian activists.
3. It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to be knowledgeable about their faith, the Scriptures, the doctrinal and moral teachings of the church, and the history of the Church.
4. It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to know what their charisms of service are and to be using them effectively in the fulfillment of their vocation or call in life.
5. It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to know that they have a vocation/mission in life (primarily in the secular world) given to them by God. It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to be actively engaged in discerning and living this vocation.
6. It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to have the fellowship of other committed lay Catholics available to them, to encourage, nurture, and discern as they attempt to follow Jesus.
7. It is NORMAL for the local parish to function consciously as a house of formation for lay Catholics which enables and empowers lay Catholics to do #1-6 above.
What do you think?