Why Bridges? Bridges lead us from here to there, across obstacles, through varying terrain, over tricky intersections. When we build bridges in our parishes and among our people, we stay focused on things that will lead to living faith as a disciple of Jesus Christ and a strong sense of mission. Through Bridges, we will help you develop this compelling vision for yourself as an individual and for your parish, and the skills to carry that vision out now and for the future.
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Why Bridges? In The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis speaks of our call to build an evangelizing community. He describes this community as one that:
- Knows that the Lord has taken the initiative, he has loved us first;
- Has an endless desire to show mercy, the fruit of its own experience of the power of the Father's infinite mercy;
- Gets involved by word and deed in people's daily lives; it bridges distances;
- Is also supportive, standing by people at every step of the way, no matter how difficult or lengthy this may prove to be;
- Is always concerned with fruit, because the Lord wants her to be fruitful;
- Finally, an evangelizing community is filled with joy; it knows how to rejoice always. (EG, 24)
Bridges offers a unique opportunity for us to enhance the life of faith we experience in our parish as we worship, connect, grow and serve, forming an evangelizing community such as the one Pope Francis describes. Parish leaders (pastors, staff, and parishioners) often struggle to fashion life that builds a strong parish community; they are busy sustaining the programs they currently have in place, and as one parish staff member recently noted, "We always seem to be busy reacting to the latest crisis." The elements of Bridges are all designed to help people in parishes develop and effectively carry out a dynamic vision for their life and their parish that will challenge everyone to grow in faith while building a strong community in which to live that faith. Click here for our special message to pastors, parishioners, and staff members.
Bridges is built upon the foundation of research and the best practices of parishes in all sorts of settings in the United States and Canada. Very simply, there is nothing like Bridges anywhere else, because Bridges brings you an integrated approach to parish life. No more ministerial silos, in which everyone has their turf or singular responsibility! As people in parishes explore Bridges together, they discern strategies, practices and approaches that fit their community, building a more engaging community of disciples. With Bridges, everyone sees that they are connected to all of the others in the parish. Not only this, we grasp more fully that we belong to Christ's Body, and as a result will live our faith more deeply as people of mission, bringing Christ's love, forgiveness, justice and peace to one another, to your town or city, and to the world.
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