G.I.F.T – Growing in Faith Together

Horizon of Hope 2015-16 bulletin boardEvery day as I walked into our office and saw our bulletin board I was reminded of our faith plan.  This year our faith theme was A Horizon of Hope.  Pope Francis said,

“Today amid so much darkness, we need to see the light of hope and be men and          women that bring hope to others.  To protect creation, to protect every man and woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope.”  We were also reminded of the words of Jesus, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9).  Hope is central to our community as our vision statement reads, “A safe and caring, Christ-centered community of hope and learning.”  In partnership with the Year of Mercy, throughout the year I was a witness to members of our learning community bringing hope to one another and others.

Next year will begin our new three year faith plan entitled G.I.F.T. – Growing in Faith Together.  I would like to give a big thank you to Joanne Bartley, Director of Religious Education, and her committee for creating the faith plan.  G.I.F.T. is broken down into three components or years:

Year One: Rooted in Christ

                Year Two: Growing in Spirit

                Year Three: Sharing our Bounty

Christ said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).  During Rooted in Christ we will grow in our faith journey:

  • Faith Focus:  I know God and God knows me
  • Strands of Religious Education:  Believing (Scripture)
  • Catholic Social Teaching Focus:  Life and Dignity of the Human Person
  • I am the Way… Jesus is God’s invitation to live an incredible life!  Communion of Saints – The lives of the saints remind us of how to answer the call to follow Jesus.
  • Gifts:  Recognizing individual gifts:  Jesus sees things in us that we don’t see ourselves.
  • Call to Action:  Read and ponder the Gospels, reflect.  Increase permeation of the Gospel in everything we do.
  • Key:  Our focus is on conversion of hearts, not changing behaviour.

GIFT1We are reminded of Pope Francis’ teachings, “Jesus loved us.  Jesus loves us.  Without limit, always, till the end.” 

Just as I am proud of the many acts of hope I witnessed this year; I cannot wait to see our new faith plan implemented.  Next year our gift to each other will be Growing in Faith Together: Year 1 Rooted in Christ.



Greg Kostiuk


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