BY ANGELA CAVEThe goals of the new "Amazing God" evangelization initiative are to reach out to inactive Catholics, people hurt by the Church and young adults; to engage parishioners in spiritual renewal; and to increase active membership in parishes across the Albany Diocese.
Diocesan evangelization committee members have already led five orientation sessions for newly-created evangelization teams in parishes. The goal is to create a team at every parish or cluster of parishes by the end of the three-year initiative.
* Amazing God will kick off with an opening celebration June 7, 7-8:30 p.m., at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany. Bishop Howard J. Hubbard and Rev. Frank DeSiano, CSP, will discuss the three-year evangelization initiative.
* The program, launched by the Bishop, received a grant of about $208,000 from a late priest's family. This will cover the hiring of a project coordinator and other costs. Organizers plan on applying for more grants, estimating total expenses of $280,000.
WHAT'S IN STORE
* A DVD retreat with the bishop is planned for Advent 2010, titled, "God is Love." This will also be the theme for the first year of Amazing God, which will officially start this fall to coincide with the reopening of the cathedral.
* Scripture study opportunities are also planned, with emphasis on Hebrew Scriptures and stories of God's love.
* A youth rally will be held in November.
* Outreach to those who have left the Church to "come home" for Christmas and Easter is a major focus.
* The second and third years of the initiative will have the themes of "The Heart of Christ" and "Filled with the Spirit."