Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of October 2, 2006
Scripturefest sets the stage for faith strategy
Weekend event will be followed up by faith formation evenings
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
The most successful Scripturefest in recent memory drew about 850 people this year to St. Thomas More Church.
The event, which was used to launch a new adult faith formation strategy, had languished over the past five years with an average attendance of 150 people.
This year people came from all over the archdiocese, including Red Deer, Wainwright, Wetaskiwin, Spruce Grove and St. Albert.
"We really wanted to make Scripturefest into an archdiocesan event that could be of service to the entire archdiocese," said Mark Early, director of adult education.
"Given that the archbishop (Thomas Collins) is a Scripture scholar it is very fitting that we have a large event about it too and also because Scripture is the foundation of our Catholic faith."
Prayer, aggressive advertising and inclusiveness seem to be behind the success. "Well, we prayed," said Mark Early, director of adult education.
"Basically we prayed a lot, not just for Scripturefest, but also for adult faith formation in general, for many Catholics to be well formed in their faith."
This is the first time in recent memory that a parish hosted the event, which had been held at the Ukrainian Youth Centre for several years. It will now be held in a different parish every year.
There was also advertising on most parish bulletins, posters everywhere, and an insert of 28,000 brochures in the WCR. Parishes made special announcements about the event from the pulpit.
There is also a bit of a change in the event's format, namely that this year's Scripturefest will have follow up activities in parishes in the coming weeks.
"This year we wanted to use Scripturefest as a kickoff event for a new strategy for adult faith-formation in the archdiocese," announced Early. "Whenever you start a new approach or a new program it is hard to get started. The hardest thing is to get the ball rolling so we wanted Scripturefest to be that event that started the momentum."
Beginning Oct. 18, the adult education office will offer monthly faith formation evenings for parish leaders at several key locations throughout the archdiocese - an eight-session course on the essentials of the Catholic faith.
"We want to make adult faith formation accessible to more regions and more parishes and more people in the archdiocese," Early said.
"This is our first step in trying to make things more available than they have been. Sometimes adult faith formation was only offered in Edmonton or only offered at Newman and then it was difficult for rural parishes to participate."