October/November 2014 - Vol. 76
 A report on Bethany Association
Bethany Association
Mags with young women from Christ the Redeemer Community

Helping Women Discerning the Call to Live Single for the Lord

Mags, a covenant member of Charis Community in Belfast, Northern Ireland and a member of Bethany Association - an international, ecumenical association of women living single for the Lord, was delighted to be asked by the North American Region of the Sword of the Spirit to spend some of her time and energies helping young community women discern the call to live single for the Lord. So far she has visited communities in New Jersey, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Detroit, and Minnesota.

At these events, Mags told her own story of Godís call and shared about signs of the action of God across the Sword of the Spirit network of communities. She also launched the latest Discernment Guide for Pastoral Leaders. The booklet is designed for use by a pastoral leader over a 6 or 12 month period of discernment and includes reflection and discussion questions, Bible meditations for the time of discernment and a reading list of helpful books and articles for reflection.

See related articles by Mags:
ē I Say, "Lord, Send Me" ...but Am I Available to be Sent?
ē A Response to Godís Call: Report on women living single for the Lord in covenant communities 

A report on the Brotherhood of Hope
Brotherhood of

Knowing Christ Our Joy

by Brother Sam Gunn

With a warm smile, a gifted intellect and a very promising future, Brother Parker Jordan had it made in life. Instead, on July 5th, he made a gift of his life to Jesus Christ by professing the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience in life-long private vows in the Brotherhood of Hope, a religious brotherhood of Catholic lay brothers founded by Fr. Philip Merdinger. In a packed Sacred Heart church in New Brunswick, New Jersey surrounded by brothers, family and friends he said his threefold 'yes' in vows of chastity, poverty and obedience. Brother Parker could have pursued the American dream of self-sufficiency. Instead he is pursuing Jesus, his All-Sufficiency.

There was a word that came up again and again - at a pre-vows encouragement party attended by some of the college students Br. Parker serves at Rutgers University, at a private family reception the night before, or in conversations with the many guests. The word was "joy." Brother Parker is a man of radiant joy. Without hesitation or doubt he offered his life and the joy of his offering was felt by all who witnessed this stirring event. "Joy," Fr. Philip Merdinger preached at the vows, "is something the Lord himself does in us from within." Urging the congregation to allow the Holy Spirit to work this joy in their own hearts, we offer you the same invitation: Say 'yes' to the joy of the Lord. It is a joy so powerful it leads a man who could have it all to give it all to Christ without fear. God First, God Alone!

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