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Newsletter Winter 2001

Faith on Tap for Young Adults

By: Lora Winger

"We believe the Church is: the living, creating, evolving Body of Christ; the hopes and dreams of people who seek a just and loving world; men and women who love their faith and want their voices heard; the Spirit speaking through the gifts and talents, hearts and minds, sorrows and joys of each generation; US!"

Thus began the mission of Faith on Tap, a program where young adult Catholics gathered for a speaker, conversation and theology. Over 60 people attended the series of sessions that began in July with the topic, "Am I Catholic?" Fr. Jim O'Donnell and Maggie Conrad, founders of The Little Brothers and Sisters of the Eucharist, spoke about finding the heart and spirit of the Catholic faith in receiving the Eucharist, serving the poor, and spending time in communal and personal prayer. Dr. Sheila McGinn, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at John Carroll University, witnessed to her personal search for meaning and purpose in the Catholic faith, a journey that has led her to teach classes on feminist theology.

In "God Made Me This Way: A Catholic Look at Sexuality," Fr. Mark Hobson, pastor of the Church of the Resurrection, presented an overview of moral theology and the role that informed conscience plays in making moral decisions. He outlined Catholic teachings on sexuality issues from an historical and scriptural perspective.

Barb Ballenger, performer with Beacon Street Performing Arts Ministry, and Fr. Tim Daw, associate pastor at St. Ignatius of Antioch Church, shared stories in "One Bread, One Body: Who Is Welcome?" Using the example of building a ramp for wheelchair access to a church, Barb pointed out that for every two inches in height, the ramp must extend two feet. "If we want people to increase their understanding just a little bit, we must reach out even more." Fr Tim stated, "Words are symbols that reflect what we believe about ourselves. In our prayer, the words reflect what we believe about ourselves in relationship to God. This is why it is crucial that our words include all of human experience, not a limited view of it."

Dr. Marty Poluse, theology teacher at Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School, presented an overview of Vatican Council II in "Church Ongoing or Church on Hold?" Pope John XXIII stated on the eve of the Council, "Open up the windows and let the fresh air in." Dr. Poluse described both the pre-Council and post-Council Church, and the vision of hope that remains as a result of "opening the windows."

The sessions concluded with Dr. Robert Ludwig's presentation on "Can't Hold Back the Spirit." Dr. Ludwig is Director of Campus Ministry and a professor of Catholic Studies at DePaul University in Chicago. "You can't hold back the Spirit within you, because if you do, you will die," stated Dr. Ludwig. "You must give voice to what is within you. You must express it and celebrate it."

If you are interested in conducting a Faith on Tap series in your area, please call the FutureChurch office (216-228-0869) for details.


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