logo larger fishermanNovember 21-24, 2013

Why a Synod?
“The purpose of the diocesan synod is to offer assistance to the diocesan bishop for the good of the whole diocesan community.” (Canon 460)

How Are We Preparing?
The Synod Preparatory Commission has been meeting every other week since April in preparation for our Second Diocesan Synod. As mentioned in this month’s reflection on the Synod (See page 4), we see a central theme of the Synod as being: People of God responding to Christ’s Call. Have we really recognized our call as the People of God? Have we thought about the gifts and obligations of such a vocation? For instance, how are we doing at forming disciples? How are we doing at liberating captives from slavery to sin? Proclaiming the Gospel to unbelievers? Sacrificing for the poor? For the Church? These are the types of questions we are asking ourselves.

We have been studying and grounding ourselves in the documents from the First Diocesan Synod, Formed as Disciples; Sent as Apostles and also the pastoral letter of our Bishop Burns, Rediscover the Journey and Joy of Encountering Christ. Other important documents that are guiding us are USCCB documents like Disciples Called to Witness and the Vatican Document, Instruction on Diocesan Synods.

Parishes have been participating in Listening sessions with Bishop Burns responding to three questions:

1. What do you most appreciate about your parish and about the Church in Southeast Alaska?
2. What direction would you like to see for the diocese over the next five years?
3. What three priorities should the diocese identify and fulfill to provide more effective ministry and pastoral care?

Those unable to attend the Listening Session are welcome to submit their comments in writing, which can be dropped off at your parish office, placed in the collection basket, or emailed to dioceseofjuneau@gci.net.
Lay members of the Synod are in the process of being selected by Bishop Burns and the pastors or Pastoral Councils of each parish. Details on the appointment of members to the Synod can be found on the Synod website: www.evangelizeseak.com.
As we go into the 19th week before the Second Diocesan Synod we have formed five Synod Topics. Each one of these emphasizes an important dimension of the life and vocation of the People of God:

• Caring for the Temporal Needs of the Church: Stewardship/Administration

• Parish Life and Spiritual Growth:
Liturgy/Sacraments/Shrine/Diocesan Missions

• Future of our Church:
Youth/Church Vocations/Pastoral Plan

• Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ: Evangelization/Catechesis

• Catholic Life in Society:
Charity/Justice/Service

For the most current information, check out the new website for the Second Diocesan Synod: http://www.evangelizeseak.com. This website will be updated every Monday and important communications are available by clicking on “recent communications.”

Do you sense the call to give yourself to God and to the mission of the Church by participating in the Synod? Join us in the special time of grace and service.

Volunteers will be needed for committees for Hospitality, Transportation, Communications, Liturgy, and Set-up. Also, please consider donating Alaska Airline miles and companion fare tickets to bring Synod Members from across the diocese to Juneau. Member housing in Juneau will be needed as well. If you can help, please email your contact information and details to:
Peggy Mattson at dioceseofjuneau@gci.net or phone 586-2227 ext. 31.