Creating a Culture of Encounter in the Diocese of Cleveland is adapted from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) resource, Creating a Culture of Encounter: A Guide for Joyful Missionary Disciples, which was created by the subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs under the direction of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church.
The use and adaptation of our resources are done with permission from the USCCB and specific citations from the Creating a Culture of Encounter booklet are indicated throughout our documents. To order a copy of Creating a Culture of Encounter Booklet promulgated by the USCCB, click here.
Creating a Culture of Encounter is a parish leadership formation program divided into five small-group sessions and one final processing experience. The purpose of this program is to form men and women in the community to engage with those on the periphery in a spirit of love and welcome, to accompany each other guided by the Holy Spirit, and to journey forward as a community of faith that bears fruit. The themed sessions are formed around the episode of the disciples’ walk to Emmaus found in Luke 24. Each session challenges participants, as companions on the journey, to discern what it means to live as a missionary disciples, called to beget other disciples with a Great Commission mindset (Matthew 28).
The encounter process in Creating a Culture of Encounter is organic and allows the Holy Spirit to take the lead. It challenges participants to step outside their comfort zones and share, in loving word and deed, the joy of faith! As a process, it takes time and practice, but, with committed support and courageous vulnerability, it changes people and communities. We've adapted the original process a little, but the major tenets are the same:
As missionary disciples, this is our call and commission (Matthew 28). With hearts burning, like the disciples who journeyed to Emmaus (Luke 24), let's get on the move!
Faith communities can use and adapt the following material in creative ways to form men and women as disicples who look outward to encounter Christ on the peripheries. This material challenges participants to step outside of comfort zones to experience the disquieting and ennobling otherness of God.
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