Synod FAQ: How can I get involved in the Synod?

How can I get involved in the Synod?

OK, so you've heard about the Synod and you want to know more. Perhaps your first question is "What is a synod?" But then what? What is the first step to participating in the synod?

For many people, the principal way that they will be part of the synod is through a parish consultation. Every parish has been asked to organize parish consultations over the next several months so that everyone in the parish will have the opportunity to take part in a discussion of the fundamental question:

A synodal Church, in announcing the Gospel, “journeys together.” How is this “journeying together” happening today in your local Church? What steps does the Spirit invite us to take in order to grow in our “journeying together”?

1. Contact your parish to ask about synod consultations.

Synod consultations are also occurring in schools, religious orders, prayer groups, youth groups, Catholic Women's Leagues, and Knights of Columbus councils. Or pretty much anywhere Catholics gather. The same fundamental question is posed in all of these groups, but your answers may be different depending on the context.

2. Check to see if your Catholic group is discussing the synod question. If not, ask them "why not?"

Join in a stimulating discussion with others and share your insights with the Archdiocesan Synod Team. You can take part in multiple groups and consultations. Each time will be a new experience of group learning and discovery. We look forward to hearing about your reflections.

3. Reach out to people on the margins, those who are not normally part of the conversation, those who are hurting or afraid of the church.

The Synod is not an exercise in evangelism. It is basically a gathering of the Christian family, the baptized people of God, to talk about our family, the church of God. We invite you to use this opportunity to grow in relationship with those members of our community who have been apart from the church. Use this as an opportunity to share our hopes and prayers that everyone will be able to "walk together" on this journey. This is not a time to defend the church's history or doctrine but to strengthen the bonds of communion within the body of Christ. Enter on this journey with humility, compassion, and courage.

4. Reflect on the Ten Synod Themes and discuss them with your friends, parish, or group.

The ten themes developed by the Synod office in Rome are a good way to enter into a discussion about the fundamental question. Each of these themes connects to the life of the local church in a variety of ways. There are no right or wrong answers. These questions invite you to share your story of life in the church and how "walking together" happens in your experience.

5. Gather your thoughts together and share them with the Archdiocesan Synod Team.

If you participate in a parish or other group consultation, then you will be invited to share your ideas in response to the questions. These will be collected by the parish synod coordinator and sent to the Archdiocesan Synod Team.

If you want, you are also invited to write your reflections in response to the fundamental question about walking together in the local church. Please do not think of this as a survey. These are not questions that can be answered with Yes or No answers. There are as many answers as there are people. This is a process that is intended to gather the wisdom that has been earned through lifetimes of experience.

6. What if I don't want to write? Can I share my ideas in other ways?

It will be easiest for the Archdiocesan Synod Team to collect your ideas and include them in an Archdiocesan Synthesis. If you send us a poem, song, or painting we will have some difficulty in interpreting its meaning. However, we will diligently pass it along to the bishops' conference and the Synod of Bishops in Rome.





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