CALLED to Spiritually Renew the Church

Challenge

In today’s highly digital age, communication is everything. How much time we spend listening to or watching media content is directly correlated to how much perceived value it has in our lives. One of the primary reasons why so many people are dissatisfied with church is the lack of relevancy and practical application found in homilies. This combined with the absence of trust that many have with priests and preachers themselves because of scandal indicate that a renewal is in order to articulate what it means to be a person of faith in the 21st century.

What could a path forward look like for our ever-changing church communities? CALLED believes that cultivating the preacher-listener relationship is central to renewal because BOTH are called to participate in a life of faith.  As a fruit of this relationship, the preacher deepens his or her ability to listen to the longings of a person desiring to be spiritually fed.  Preaching is more than a  “marketing tool” or a performance to behold.  Preaching is a genuine action of the Spirit that generates healing and liberation in the life of the preacher and in the lives of those who receive the message.  Like Mary’s call, it is also to ponder God’s questions, God’s whispers, and sometimes, where God is in our utter fear and confusion.

Our spiritual journey is multifaceted.  Interiorly, we face wounds, emotion, uncertainty, and an infinite landscape informed by both the goodness and ugliness of our daily lives.  Exteriorly, we are made to be in a relationship with God through others, but that means navigating the messiness of interdependence.  Preaching attends to both of these journeys.  A contemplative stance affords us the opportunity to see, hear, and attune to God’s presence in a way that makes space for paying attention to God’s voice amidst the busy realities of our lives. 

Sunday to Sunday: CALLED

Research

Many studies have found that ineffective preaching is the main reason why people are either dissatisfied with church or have stopped going all together.
2022

Online Services Appeal to Americans, but Going in Person Remains More Popular

2011

Faith In Flux:
Changes in Religious Affiliation in the U.S.

2023

This just in: Catholic churches have the worst preaching and music in the US

2023

Pope Francis and the Search for Solutions to the Bad Sermon Phenomenon​

Preachers

Clearly, good preachers do exist and dynamic faith-based communities can be found.  Sunday to Sunday has explored and featured some of them.

Spiritual Life

Are you CALLED?

CALLED is an intensive virtual and in-person experience, where a cohort of clerical and lay participants draw from the contemplative tradition of the Church and venture on a journey of interior and exterior transformation.  The collective sharing and wisdom of the cohort bring a new dimension to the learning process in the context of a life-giving, safe environment.  Virtual sessions are led by people in the field; no one teaches above their experience.  An in-person retreat provides an opportunity for the cohort to pray together, experiment with homiletic practices, and receive supportive feedback.

CALLED does not just disseminate information, it fosters authentic change within the heart and mind of the believer…

FROM information TO transformative life-giving practices.
FROM Sunday obligation TO liberating and healing the human heart.
FROM routine homilies TO engaging, passionate and authentic preaching.

For more information, please sign-up to receive emails about the CALLED program:

Sunday to Sunday: CALLED