Gerry Penfold, leader of our Called and Gifted Team, reports on a successful reunion of over 50 Called and Gifted “Graduates”, held in Basingstoke last Saturday, 8th October…
Over 50 Called and Gifted “Graduates” gathered at St Bede’s, Basingstoke for a day of fellowship, formation, inspiration and encouragement. The theme for the day was “Fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you” (2 Timothy 1:6).
The day started with a wonderful Mass at 9:30 celebrated by Fr John Lee who welcomed us all warmly to the parish. After a short break, Richard Martin used his charism of music to lead us in a joyful time of praise and worship. Then Anne-Marie Fletcher gave a talk on charisms and the importance of deep, personal transformation. Breakout sessions followed with participants discussing “What has helped your discernment of spiritual gifts the most, what has hindered it and how have you overcome these obstacles?” The sharing of ideas, difficulties and solutions was so encouraging as was a prophetic word that Judith Aylmer received “You are in the vanguard and the way ahead is clear before you. Use the gifts you have been given to further My church. Step out in faith to fulfil what you are called to do“.
After lunch in the beautiful sunshine, we were inspired by a number of testimonies from graduates who could not join us, including a video testimony from Fr Michael Hall. Another breakout session followed to discuss “How have you been using your charisms and what further support would help you use them more fully?” Again the discussions produced some great ideas that the Core Team will be looking to implement. Then Gerry Penfold gave a talk on Future Vision for C&G in the context of the Diocesan Mission Plan. After setting the scene with an update on all that has happened over the past two or so years, Gerry explored the 9 priorities in the Mission Plan and the relevance of the various charisms to these priorities. The importance of prayer was highlighted by reference to how Jesus chose the 12 apostles (Luke 6:12-16) as well as the value of having people with the right spiritual gifts in place before implementing the plan. A final breakout session followed where everyone had the opportunity to discuss how their charisms could help make the Mission Plan a reality in their community.
The day ended with prayers led by those with the charism of Intercessory Prayer and a final song led again by Richard Martin. We were blessed to have Fr John Lee and Fr Paul Leonard with us for most of the day and after giving the final prayer and blessing, Fr John was joined by Fr Paul for a spontaneous outpouring of prayer for them and all our priests. Overall the reunion was a wonderful, Spirit filled day which has inspired us all to keep using our charisms for the glory of God and the benefit of everyone that He puts before us. For more information on Called and Gifted and how it can help you grow closer to Jesus Christ, please visit the website: https://www.calledandgifted.org.uk