21 September 2009

The Village News!

Dear Villagers,

Thank you to everyone who came and helped to make our first two Village Meetings so exciting! We had 48 teens at our first meeting, and between our two meetings- we've had 17 new teens who have come to The Village for the first time! It has been so good to get back into the rhythm of our weekly meetings on Sundays from 5-6:30pm here at the Church.

Last night John, one of our Village Volunteers, called us on to ditch the rulebook mentality towards our faith! Since the time of the Mosaic law our faith has often been reduced to simply following a rulebook, substituting the empty observance of rules for that active, living relationship with God. When we live according to this rulebook mentality we can become prideful and selfish- missing out on the communion with God that we are made for! Of course we don't want to just stop following the guidelines of the Church, we need that weekly Sunday Mass to nourish our faith and lead us deeper into worship! That said, it's so important for us to remember John's words- God doesn't just want our actions- he wants our hearts!

Join us this coming Sunday 9/27 for our Village Night, Introducing the Dead Theologians Society. The Dead Theologians Society is a Catholic apostolate for teens with chapters across the United States! Through the Saints of yesterday, the Dead Theologians Society (DTS) inspires the youth of today to become the saints of tomorrow! This program is an opportunity for you to encounter the Saints and receive the graces you need to become Saints yourselves! Soon DTS will become a regular part of The Village, taking place on Thursday evenings in the church choir loft.

If you haven't been able to make it to The Village yet this year, come this Sunday! Join us to be challenged in your faith, build friendships with other Catholic teens, and encounter the Lord Jesus through prayer.

You are all in my prayers!

God Bless,

Next Sunday: Introducing the Dead Theologians Society 9/27 from 5-6:30pm

Corn Maze & Bonfire Social 10/2
The Village and Grown-Up Soda are coming together for a social night at the Three Cedars Farm Corn Maze Friday October 2nd! We’ll be wandering through a huge corn maze, enjoying a hayride, and cooking up some s’mores around the campfire. Drop off will be at Three Cedars Farm at 6:30pm, and pickup will be 9pm. All 7th -12th graders are welcome! Permission slips (attached/online) and money are due by Wednesday September 30th.

More about the Village:
The Village is an outreach of St Thomas the Apostle to all high school aged teens. As a group, our mission is to prepare each of us for our encounter with the Risen Christ, especially in the Blessed Sacrament. Some of us may have doubts like our patron St Thomas did. Others have already joined St Thomas in those words of faith, "My Lord and My God!” Like St Thomas, we are asking real questions, having real dialogue, and developing real faith. The Village meets on Sunday nights from 5-6:30pm. We also have socials and service days. The highlight over and above all of these activities will be our Fall Retreat- a chance for renewal, fun, and prayer!

Here’s Your Question of the Week: Are Mormons Christian?
Well, the short answer is... not exactly. What I mean is this. If you ask any Mormon they will tell you that they are, but no other source will tell you that.

In the book "The Joy of Sects,” it states, "Mormons embrace a moral code similar to that of most conservative Christian groups, but some of their dogma is unique and places them well outside the Christian mainstream. For instance, they believe that God the Father is a male being of flesh and bones, that Jesus Christ is God but that men can become gods and many in fact have done so, existing in a complex level of spiritual worlds."

It’s true that if you were to speak to a Mormon they seem to be talking about the same things as we believe. They use terms like "Trinity," and "Resurrection," and even "Heaven," but take an extra moment and ask them to define those words. They will give you some very different views than what we hold in the Catholic Church.

That said, Mormons are not evil...that is, not any more than anyone else has the potential to be. In fact, many of the moral teachings they have on family values are incredibly beautiful. I'm amazed at the devotion their young people have, even to the point of giving up two years of their lives to evangelize. There is a lot we can admire about them, but it is important for us to know that there are major differences in our beliefs, and these differences run deep.

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