By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
How do we begin to build a culture of evangelization from the context of our unique parishes and the individuals that comprise our community?
Lay ministers Michael and Tasha Havercamp posed this question during their presentation, “Evangelization Teams: Now What” at the Vision 20/20 Convocation held in June at St. Ambrose University in Davenport.
While it is the call of every baptized Catholic to evangelize, a core evangelization team can help guide a parish’s efforts, said the husband and wife evangelization team from St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Davenport.
“What we are here to do is not necessarily to talk about how to go out and evangelize but how to organize a team that’s going to be the center, the hub, the spark for (your) parish,” Michael Havercamp said.
When the Havercamps asked participants about their parishes’ core evangelization team, many indicated that they did not have one. “We’re here to steer you in the direction we’ve gone (at St. Paul) but it’s not a one size fits all,” Tasha Havercamp said.
Michael Havercamp said the parish’s evangelization team draws inspiration from Acts II by focusing on four devotions: the apostles’ teachings, fellowship, sharing meals, and prayer. At the center of it all is a devotion to Jesus and a desire to grow the kingdom. “A devotion to those things is really going to make your evangelization team thrive.”
The Havercamps hoped the participants could walk away with some ideas and inspiration for forming their own parish evangelization teams. “We’re going to break these four things down a little bit and give you our experience and maybe some caveats to these four devotions, how they worked for us and what we found was helpful,” Tasha Havercamp said.
This presentation on forming parish evangelization teams is available online via podcast at https://diocese-of-davenport.simplecast.com. Most of the presentations from the Vision 20/20 Convocation are available for viewing and/or listening.
Topics include: sharing faith stories; reaching out to families; evangelizing youths and young adults; evangelizing in smaller parishes; evangelizing in an age of secularism, atheism and scientism; hospitality; immigrant voices; and church teaching on sexuality and sexual identity.