WORKSHOPS ON EVANGELIZATION Synthesis of discussions

 A virtual workshop on evangelization was held on October 3, 5 and 6, 2020. Participants were offered to experience sharing their faith with others. Several questions were asked in a preparatory notebook to reflect on their experience of evangelization. During the workshop, the participants met first in large groups and then in small groups where they were able to share their experiences and thoughts. The following comments are a summary, as complete as possible, of the notes received from the facilitators of the small groups.


1) Challenges faced when trying to share our faith

 Participants generally expressed that it is rather difficult to speak of one's faith outside the Christian community. This is usually due to fear: fear of approaching people, fear of their lack of openness; fear of being judged and seen as a person who tries to convert others; fear that it might affect his relationship with the people we love; fear of being confronted with negative questions that are not adequately answered.

The impression is that some people are not open to a discussion on faith and that there is no openness from the government and society on this subject. Participants also expressed that they were not sure when it was the best time to address the subject of faith with others. We are not (priests and parishioners) used to get out of our parishes to share our Christian hope. Our generation has not been trained to share the Word of God with others which can explain our lack of confidence to reach out to others.

There is also a necessary reconciliation between Quebecers and the Church. It is important for us to take responsibility for the wrongs committed and not to seek to justify ourselves.

 It is difficult to have conversations about our faith with the 50 and under because they are from another generation. This is a generation that has not been educated in faith, so we don't really know how to do it.

What is a challenge is also to be able to discern the right time to talk about God in our relationships.

2) The help that the diocesan team or Christian communities could offer to help the faithful share their faith

 - Continue to organize diocesan meetings on the theme of evangelization.

-Set up a team or committee for visualization at the diocesan centre that can, among other things, organize workshops.

-Identify invite resource people.

- Create networks of small inter-parochial groups that share around God’s Word in which people get to know each other and share their sorrows and joys (especially for newcomers).

- Putting the Word of God at the heart of our Christian community. Our generation has not been trained to share  the Word... Which can explain why we lack the confidence to move forward in our mission to evangelize.

- Offering trainings for the use of technology in utilization: social media, Zoom and have applications.

- Promote collaboration between parishes to engage in evangelization

- Help us define the ideal framework to transmit our faith (ideal circumstances).

- Be present to people's needs.

- Organize meetings outside the church (when it will be possible).

- At the parish or diocese in level, offer platforms to watch series like Robert Baron's.

- Share contact information of parishioners so that they can call or email each other to discuss questions of faith (with their permission of course).

- Propose a daily action or an inspiring theme to help us do one thing a day.


3) Other interesting or relevant comments from participants

 - When evangelizing, it is better to share an experience, because faith is first and foremost an experience.

- We should use technology to spread the gospel message (although this is not always easy in rural areas). Modern means of communication are within our reach, let us use them to go beyond the walls of our churches.

- I always find myself surprised by the positive reaction of people when I share my faith. I try to use a little humor.

- It is being said that faith is personal; but in fact, faith must be shared.

- At first I feel uncomfortable sharing my faith but when I have done it I feel happy.

- Spiritual growth follows when one has shared his faith.

- Why not do like other religious groups: organize public meetings where we give the floor on current topics or even on personal experiences of life of faith.

- We should take advantage of the opportunities that we have to bear witness not only in words, but also through concrete actions. Actions also express our faith.

- It is important to proclaim the Good News by how we live, first. The "see how they love each other" is the first way to bear witness to Jesus Christ.

- With works, we may not verbally share the Gospel, but we are truly the hands of God.

- We simply need to be “expressions of love” for the people we meet and Jesus is there in our midst.

- It is important to listen to others. We must learn to listen and hear the profound needs and desires that people express on a daily basis through their actions and words so that we can respond to them from a faith perspective.

- Let's start ringing the church bells again: a bell ringing is a call.

- You have to share your faith in a non-moralistic way. We have to work on your hospitality, our humility.

 - The important thing is to accept the questions that come from young people in relationship with spirituality.

 - Small groups can make all the difference in the lives of people in need.

- Sharing our faith in this God who makes us live, but always respecting the freedom of others.

- Time must be made to restore ourselves spiritually and identify suitable resources for evangelization.


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