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The Evolution of the Solo Parents Ministry

From Class Reunions to Ministry Gatherings to Full-Fledged Assemblies


It is hard to believe that seven years have passed since the inception of the Solo Parents Ministry in Toronto.  Like a mustard seed, it was small, obscure and hardly noticeable but its enormous growth over the past few years is hard to ignore.  With every Solo Parents Encounter that passed, it became increasingly obvious that the Solo Parents Ministry was called to a ministry that is unique to the ones currently addressed by our community.

 

In response, the Solo Parents Ministry started to expand its focus, taking the function and participation of each “Encounter Class” well beyond the sponsorship of the next class.   As a result, the Solo Parents Ministry, which originally focused on evangelization through its encounter program, would now also begin to include an ongoing mission program to the solos.

 

This direction began to take form three years ago when the need for ongoing support and the thirst for continued fellowship became very clear. As such, the “Class Reunions” started to evolve into “Ministry Gatherings” where every member of all the “Encounter Classes” was invited to participate. This year, these gatherings officially became the Solo Parents Ministry Assemblies.

 

The monthly assembly always begins with Praise and Worship.  It also includes sharing of the Word, a life testimony by one of our members, and ample time for fellowship and bonding.  It is common to see in these gatherings a variety of members from the various “Encounter Classes” who serve the Universal Church in different capacities.  There are those who have been called to serve in our BLD community, those who have been called to serve in different parishes and those who may still be too wounded to serve in any capacity.  Whatever the calling is, whatever the level may be, we share one thing in common.  We all have a great desire to give back to the community and to the ministry that gave us so much - the BLD Community and the Solo Parents Ministry. Cognizant of our own needs for healing and wholeness, we treasure this time together because this is where we find the assurance that we are not alone in our walk.  Through these gatherings, we endeavour to help each other in different ways so that we may all become productive members of our families, our ministries, our community and our Church at large.  It is our desire to create a healthy balance in our physical, emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing so that we, in turn, will be well-equipped to serve others.

 

This year, we organized a faith-building trip to the beautiful pilgrimage site of TEOPOLI (the City of God) in the Muskokas where we worshipped together at the Shrine of Jesus the Listener and learned about the remarkable life of Sister Carmelina Tarantino who has recently been recommended for beatification.  This Christmas Season, we have pledged our support to the Mission Ministry of the BLD in its various carolling schedules as we accommodate the ones that we have booked ourselves.

 

In the future, we hope to invite speakers and teachers to talk to us about subjects that address the unique concerns of our ministry and our members, and the plight of “solos” in our society in general.   Through the direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we hope that as a ministry, we will be a helping hand, a healing presence, a noble example and a positive voice for all who are walking the same path.

 
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