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Some voices in the church speak more loudly than others and may not best represent the Church – Sancta Familia Media could be an example of this. Spokespeople for the Church must represent the different voices in the Church and not simply take one line. We need truly representative advocates formed in the spirit of the 2nd Vatican Council.

It can be difficult to discard old attitudes which discouraged speaking out. Perhaps this reflected an understanding of God as a God of fear. There is a cultural issue, too, where speaking out was discouraged. We must recognise that the “official” Church hasn’t always got things right and so it’s important that other voices be heard. We need to hear deeply Christ’s words “You foolish men!.” More women’s voices! 

The youth are “speaking” with their feet. Cajoling and threatening words no longer work. Ways should be found which encourages them to find their voice in the Church. They don’t expect adults not to talk about their faith or be embarrassed about going to church. We can be more direct with them in inviting them to come along. 

Speaking and listening are firsts steps to a new way of being Church. The willingness to speak out to the larger world prevents the Church from becoming inward-looking. We need to recognise the authority the Church can have in speaking to the world and serving the common good of all especially the marginalised of today eg immigrants. Would a Christian political party help? 

The Holy Spirit is with the community when it speaks in unity. The Spirit will also lead us to see what we have in common with other faiths and find ways to speak together. 

There can be no room for a “holier-than-thou” attitude – this discourages and marginalises. A move from and individualised and privatised faith to an evangelising one will make us more confident in speaking about our faith. Also this prevents the Church from being seen as a “closed shop.” This requires a new mindset and a desire to leave our comfort zone. 

People do want to be involved but are not sure how to go about it. In which ways do we ad- dress this? Is this our only opportunity? What is hindering deeper involvement? 

There are many issues which bring together Church and society – climate change, poverty, asylum seekers, food banks. There are good people outside the Church doing good things and they too are led by the Holy Spirit. Love is what there is in common and is what unites church goers and non-goers. 

We need to remember the good things we are doing however small and the contribution they make to society. Actions speak louder than words. 

What is the purpose of reaching out to society – is it simply to bring more people to church? 

Dialogue with society will not always being about agreement. How do we handle different views? 

There is a need to develop spaces and times for people to meet and reflect on issues in the Church and in society. Promoting fellowship within the parish will foster our understanding of how we can serve society. “Parish” rather than “Church” is a better way to refer to our faith community. 

Parish – Fellowship – Community – Sharing – Dialogue: these are key words for the sort of community we desire. 

Totally relaxed – came in mind buzzing – time passed so quickly 


Sense of searching going on – sense of something going on 

Anxious coming in to find the tables had been mixed up – now relaxed with newer people 

Calm – was downcast from the reading until saw a vision of angels 

Overawed – “the only one” – aware of the mysteries of faith. Sense of unity 

“Getting myself out of the way” – feeling the Spirit beginning to speak through me 

Anxious coming in – listening to the passage made me more relaxed and happier – sense of permission to say what I felt I should say 

Confused – the Emmaus walkers ‘are the church’, but in spite of all they had heard 

Do we need more opportunity for discussion beyond these 4 meetings? 

Many issues – a new way of being church – need for more ongoing dialogue leading to concrete outcomes 

Practical support to enable people to come to Mass eg creches 

We are church- we have the responsibility to be church – need for more discussion leading to practical outcomes 

Noted the commonality of the church- what is church? – we are church – there should be more emphasis on Parish and what that entails – people rather than bricks and mortar – fellowship and community 

What if another parish priest comes along and dismantles everything? 

Eucharistic ministers not being used: that pastoral activity needs to be reinstated Is lunchtime on a Saturday a good time to meet?