What is this “Amazing God!” initiative?

This is a three-year initiative with a goal of re-kindling the light of faith and the enthusiasm of belief for Catholics within the 14 counties of the Albany Diocese. This includes nurturing the faith of those who already are active and enthusiastic, seeking out those who have no particular church, as well as welcoming back those who have left active participation in the Church. The goal is to reach all these people, using whatever resources and approaches to faith will address their needs.

Will there be different focus areas during these three years?

Yes! Amazing God! will focus on three key themes or modes of seeing and feeling God’s amazing presence in the world and in our lives. Those themes are:
Year one:
God is Love - focuses on the outpouring of God’s love and faithfulness throughout the course of history and most notably reflected throughout the Old Testament;
Year two:
The Heart of Christ - focuses on the person and the work of Jesus as the ultimate gift of God’s love to the world; and
Year three:
Filled with the Spirit - focuses on the mission of Jesus and the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in our world.

Is this an effort to convert to Catholicism those who are not Catholic?

No, this is not an attempt to proselytize or to sway people from their beliefs. It is an initiative of joy and excitement about the Good News of Jesus, but never an attempt to disrespect or to negatively attack any religious denomination. It is an attempt to deepen the faith of those who already are practicing the faith, as well as a way of lending a compassionate ear and a healing hand toward those who have left the Church or who are seeking a faith life.

How will I know of the planned activities on the Diocesan or parish level?

Please visit our website periodically for updates on activities and events that are planned, on the Diocesan level, to celebrate the Amazing God! themes. Likewise, parishes and deaneries also are planning their own events and activities that celebrate our Amazing God! See the “Events” link to find out how a parish’s event can be listed on our website.

Each year, Bishop Howard Hubbard will record and lead a retreat on that year’s theme. It will be available on a DVD and on our website, for anyone to view. Other Diocesan initiatives will include a Reconciliation project to celebrate God’s mercy, in Lent of 2011. The Autumn Gathering event and the Spring Enrichment week will be important large venues where the whole Diocesan community can break open the yearly theme.

Does a parish have to follow a set program for this initiative?

No! From its inception, the Amazing God! program has been intentionally formed to be totally voluntary. For that reason, each parish community or cluster is free to develop its own unique approach. The roles of the Diocese are to create and to make available helpful guidelines, suggestions and recommendations. A free resource toolkit will offer many different techniques for your use.

How can a parish learn more about this new initiative?

The website, www.amazinggodrcda.org, is dedicated to this initiative. It will include a regular supply of ideas, resources, best practices and a calendar of events, among other things. In addition, if a parish is interested in learning or participating more, please contact the Amazing God! Coordinator, Peter Avvento, at (518) 453-6628 or at peter.avvento@rcda.org. Peter is available for presentations and site visits.




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