On October 18 and 25, 2009, the Couples for Christ (“CFC”) community held its Christian Growth Series program at the St. Michael’s Parish Hall, attended by members of the different Family Ministries in CFC Bermuda. The Christian Growth Series which was intended to support the Christian growth of CFC’s members included talks on the Covenant Orientation, Evangelization Training, Financial Stewardship, and Servanthood Through Artistic Radiance.
Our Covenant in CFC. The first talk was given by the CFC Bermuda Area Head, Jay Autor. The talk centered on expounding on the meaning and importance of the covenant entered into by the CFC members with the Lord upon their Christian Life Program (CLP) graduation, which is the entry point of CFC.
Prayer and Scripture. Establishing and maintaining a personal relationship with the Lord would need both prayer and reading of the scriptures. The next talk was presented by Lorelie Autor. She gave examples of how we as Christians can improve on our prayer time by committing to it and be disciplined enough to follow it through.
Strengthening Family Life. This talk emphasized that we do not live by ourselves and that we should care about the Christian growth of our families. Families in this context is not limited to our immediate blood relatives but to the entire Christian community, as we are a family in the Lord’s house.
Our Christian Culture in CFC. This talk was presented by Jun Gundran, Unit Head of Singles for Christ (SFC)
The Great Commission. This talk was given by the Handmaids of the Lord (HOLD) Unit Head, Evelou Mosley. She stated that the CFC community is an evangelistic movement. In Matt 28: 16-20, we read that the disciples of Christ, has been tasked to make disciples of all nations by Jesus Christ promising that He’ll be with them “to the very end of the age.” Today, the disciples mentioned in the bible are all of us. Yes, that includes you and me. We evangelize because Jesus commanded us and in return, it draws us into a deeper Communion with Christ. Go and evangelize, the world today desperately needs the Good News and it promises excitement in your life like no other.
Evangelization. Each Christian is commanded by the Lord to evangelize. Weng Gundran, Unit Leader of SFC Bermuda, mentioned seven ways to evangelize focusing on the circumstantial/environmental/everyday type of evangelization. Everyday evangelization revolves around the people you know. This may be at the workplace, in school, or even at social events. You may ask, “How should this mode of evangelization be performed?” There are several steps mentioned which stressed on building relationships and being witnesses to the Lord’s goodness to others.
Financial Stewardship. This talk centered on the ways to manage our finances aligned to the Lord’s command. There are basically three ways that we are called to be stewards of our provided treasures and this is through tithing, resource sharing, and alms giving. During the talk, the speaker, Jay Autor, described the differences between the three modes of managing our finances and focused more on tithing.
Tithing is defined to be one-tenth of something. To put this concept into our Christian life, we are called by the Lord to give 1/10 of our income after taxes to the community that directly supports our Christian growth. The concept of tithing is deeply rooted in the Word of the Lord with several verses from the Bible testifying this. One example is from Malachi 3: 8-10 that states:
“Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, “How do we rob you?” In tithes and offerings
You are under a curse-the whole nation of you-because you are robbing me.
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.
“Test me in this”, says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessings that you will not have room enough for it”
Radiance In Our Service. This talk was given by Lorelie Autor, who is also a member of the CFC Music Ministry. The message of the talk was for each of us to surrender our talents to the Maker. Trust in God’s plan and let us pick up our crosses (yes, that includes our doubts in our abilities) as the Lord will perfect us according to His will. And in doing so, we truly become His disciple radiating joy and warmth to others.
In addition to the talks conducted during the Christian Growth Series, there were also several team activities wherein the participants were able to showcase their teamwork skills and camaraderie. This was surely not just two days of acquiring knowledge on our Christian gifts and responsibilities but also in re-establishing our sisterhood and brotherhood within the CFC community, and ultimately, to the Catholic Church and Christ’s teachings.