By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — Mercy in Motion — A Ministries of Mercy Conference is an opportunity for people of the Diocese of Davenport to be transformed through the eyes of mercy, said conference coordinator Marianne Agnoli.
The conference will be held July 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the St Ambrose University campus.
“The purpose of this gathering is to explore what it means to be a people of mercy and to share practical information on developing and maintaining various ‘ministries of mercy’ within the parish and wider community,” Agnoli said.
It is open to those “desiring to reflect on God’s gift of mercy and to explore how God might be calling them to become involved as a ‘merciful minister’ with organizations or ministries that implement works of mercy.” Registrants within and outside the diocese are warmly welcome, she said.
The Mercy in Motion committee has been working for months to develop the conference. They sought to invite speakers from a wide variety of ministries with special consideration for areas of ministry in which parishes have indicated a desire for additional resourcing. Some examples are help for troubled marriages, support for those experiencing same-sex attraction and ministering to individuals with special needs.
Vendors will have displays in the Cosgrove Hall dining room to represent ministries and share information on the services they provide. Vendor registration is still being accepted.
Keynote speaker Tom East, from the Center of Ministry Development, will begin with “a reflection of our own immersion in the mercy of our loving God and help us to find ways to transform our ministries into places where God’s mercy is encountered by all,” Agnoli said.
Participants may choose three breakout workshops from among 15 different sessions to be offered.
Mercy in Motion begins with registration, hospitality and a ministry fair from 8:30-9:30 a.m. in the Cosgrove Hall dining room. Music ministry by Sarah Kroger, welcome, prayer and East’s keynote are scheduled from 9:45-11 a.m. in Christ the King Chapel. Kroger is a Christian singer/songwriter from Melbourne, Fla.
Break-out workshops will be held in McCarthy Hall. Sessions will be from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., 1:30-2:30 p.m. and 2:45-3:45 p.m. Topics include Communion to the Sick and Dying: Mercy for Those Who Cannot be with Us, by Deacon Frank Agnoli; End of Life: A Catholic Perspective on Supportive Care, by Colleen Walters; Ministering to Children with Special Needs, by Lisa Willows; Same-Sex Attraction and Pastoral Care: Witnessing to Truth with Love, by Father Jerry Kopacek; and Starting a Nonprofit from the Ground Up: Lessons from Project 15:12 Love One Another, by Monica Burchett and Karley Driscoll. The Catholic Messenger will highlight some of the topics in upcoming editions.
Lunch and the ministry fair will be held from 12:15-1:30 p.m. in Cosgrove Hall dining room. After the last breakout, a brief concluding session will be held in Christ the King Chapel. A closing liturgy with Bishop Martin Amos begins at 4:45 p.m. in the chapel.
The evening before the event, Kroger will present a free-will offering concert in Christ the King Chapel from 7-8:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served afterward.
Cost for the conference is $30 and includes hospitality, lunch and materials.
For more information or to register, visit www.davenportdiocese.org/yearofmercyconference.htm or contact Marianne Agnoli at agnolim@davenport diocese.org.