2013 TEAMS VIC EAST RESPONSIBLE COUPLES FORMATION DAY
REPORT FROM THE REGIONAL COUPLE VIC EAST
Rejuvenation: Five Year Pastoral Plan 2012 to 2016
Following a very energetic and productive session at last year’s formation day our five year plan was completed in May and endorsed by the Regional Team. Thanks to all of you and to the good work of the Planning Group, we have a clear set of 5 goals which we summarise as:
- Three new teams per year will be recruited and piloted by trained Teams people, connecting to younger people and embracing different ethnic groups.
- Married spirituality will be promoted in ways which are attractive to existing Teams and young people, incorporating contemporary spiritual language.
- Teams will communicate more widely and nurture links within the Church community, within Teams across the Region and more broadly.
- Teams will review a range of styles/formats for team meetings, gatherings and support networks to reflect the phase of teams and members including singles.
- The Region will provide ways of offering formation experiences to Teams people including those taking on leadership roles.
Rejuvenation: New Teams in Vic East
A special group to foster the formation of new teams (Goal 1) has started work. It has prepared a draft piloting manual based on material from the UK and Ireland and Australia, as well as recent experience with the formation of young teams in our region. It will also be part of a wider Oceania project for piloting of new teams.
We now have two brand new teams in 2013 following a fantastic piloting effort by Elizabeth and Jeff Byrne with the Mitcham team, and Marg and Ray Stinson with the Deer Park team. Both of these teams are very enthusiastic, comprising couples in their 20/30’s with young children. They have taken readily to the Teams format with some variations. Another young team is about to commence piloting in Gippsland with the support of the Churchill Team, and possibly using the draft manual.
These new young teams, together with our other ‘young’ Team 8, represent a new phase of renewal in Vic East, and we ask for your prayers and support for them.
Married Spirituality Today
A dedicated group has started work on exploring up to date approaches to Christian Spirituality, within the framework of Catholic Christian teaching (Goal 2). It wants to tap into the experience and knowledge available with Vic East. To this end the attached set of 3 questions has been prepared for discussion at Teams meetings, reflection by members, and response to the group. Rose Marie Prosser has already received some quite inspiring contributions.
The Group has decided to run a mini-conference on this topic. Details are:
- Sunday 20th October (venue to be confirmed)
- 12 noon BYO simple/sandwich lunch
- Main program from 1 to 4.30 pm: to include 2 talks by interesting speakers
This will be a great opportunity to gain new insights into our image of God and thinking on spirituality, in a year which is absent of a Teams conference. Please let your team know about this event and encourage them to put it in their calenders. Please also look out for an article to be published in the very near future in newsletters and on the Teams website.
Around the Sectors
All sector teams have been meeting and working on a range of activities, including newsletters and contributions to the 5 year plan. The Southern Sector has fostered the new team in Mitcham, and has also held a successful Crossroads in August with 4 couples hosting and 20 couples attending. The Yarra Sector has recently had an evening for Responsible and Sector Couples ahead of today. The Gardiner Sector has allocated responsibilities among the sector team for liaison with individual teams. The Maribyrnong Sector has fostered the new Deer Park team, and has also held an enjoyable lunch (attended by 16 people) to discuss Crossroads which was held on an afternoon in August at the Strathmore parish centre.
Beyond Vic East: Oceania news
Those Teams people who participated in the Brazil International Gathering in July have reported a wonderful and truly inspirational experience. The enthusiasm and passion of the Brazilian couples and interaction with Teams people from around the globe. The important issues were on the table and point to a vital role for Teams in the new church. In particular we recommend the talks by Timothy Radcliffe, which can be found on the website along with other valuable material from the Gathering.
Other important activities being pursued at the Oceania level include formation opportunities for Teams people, links to the ERI and international meetings, outreach to East Timor and the Phillipines, revision of the Teams brochure, a promotional DVD, participation in groups reporting to the Bishops Conference, and many others.
Looking Ahead: 2014 National Conference in Melbourne
The next national conference of Teams will be held in Melbourne in early 2014, organised jointly by the Vic East and Vic West regions. The dates are the 5th and 6th of April and the venue is the Australian Catholic University (ACU) on Victoria Parade, Fitzroy. The working theme is “Marriage Alive, Blessed and Challenged” and this will be a great opportunity to hear some excellent speakers and talk with Teams people from around Australia and beyond. The first meeting of the Melbourne based organising committee will be held in early March.
New Blood: Discernment process for the next Regional Couple
We are now in our last of our 4 year term as regional couple for Vic East, and this will be our last RC Formation Day. We would like to thank you all for your support, and in particular those who have served as sector couples and members of the Regional Team over the past 3 years. Faye and Kevin will shortly be commencing a process of discernment to elect the next Regional Couple. This process should be complete by mid 2013 in order for that couple to be supported as they enter their term. We would encourage couples to seriously consider nominating for the role. Whilst the role has been challenging, especially in the early months, we have benefited greatly by the experience and have had the opportunity to meet and work with many wonderful Teams people.
Maureen and Murray Cullinan
Vic East Regional Couple