I don't know how many of you Catholics out there have ever participated in the Parish Renewal program called Christ Renews His Parish or CRHP (pronounced Chirp for short), but it is an amazing and singular retreat experience. It is quite unlike anything out there. If your parish has it...RUN...don't walk...and sign up for the next one.
Well, CRHP is self perpetuating. It is not stagnant. Folks attend a CRHP weekend then many from that group go on to present a CRHP weekend and then the presenters kind of move off into various parish ministries and the attendees go on to be presenters and it keeps going from there. Our parish started CRHP a couple of years ago. Every 6 months there is a CRHP Weekend for Men and a week or so later their is the Women's weekend. Each group of people to attend are a team. I went to Team 1's presentation of a CRHP Weekend, and those in my group who continued to form the next Weekend became Team 2. Once you have gone to CRHP you may or may not be Called by God to come back to another CRHP team to help them out. This just happened to me. I was Called to go and help form Team 6 to put on a CRHP Weekend whose attendees will become CRHP 7.
There are many roles to be filled for a CRHP weekend. And only God, in a special discernment prayer meeting will Call those He chooses to certain roles. No person says to another, "You are meant to do this or that." Well, at the most recent discernment I was Called to be the Lay Director. Let me tell you what a hilarious joke on me that is. And I have been really freaking out over the last few days asking God if he could take this cup from me...after I decided maybe I don't want it. It is going to stretch me in places I have never stretched and I'm feeling quite inflexible, KWIM?
Lay Directors direct the proceeding of a CRHP meeting. I have to watch time, make sure folks don't stray off topic, keep to a prescribe schedule, help insure the retreat goes smoothly giving oversight to all other ministry heads. It's not my show. I am just helping to direct it. Okay, stop laughing all of you who know me. I know what you are thinking. "How could God let Rachel do that?...Her CRHP meetings are going to end up being a train wreck!" Well, the first one was a bit disorganized, but my Spiritual and Co-Spiritual Directors Ann and Jacki thought it went alot better than I did. I even got an email from a member of the group, Julie, telling me she was glad I was the Lay Director. WOW! COOL! I gotta say, I won't be doing ANY of it without God's help. I think that is why I am where I am. He knows I need Him for this position. I also adore the women in this team and know that they will help and best of all LOVE me through it. They won't be judging, just encouraging. So, Fear Be Damned! Get behind me Satan! I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
Oh, and for any of you Catholics out there reading this who have a Christ Renews His Parish in your church, DO NOT HESITATE! Sign up NOW! It will be, quite possibly, the BEST thing you have EVER done for your relationship with CHRIST, your FELLOW PARISHIONERS, and YOURSELF!!!!