The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
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February 25, 2000 Issue
Renew 2000

'Home is where your feelings are'

Families work with Renew 2000's reconciliation theme

By Nancy Vande Hey
Compass Correspondent

This Lent many Catholics will enter the Renew 2000 process hoping to reconnect with God at a deeper level.

To help families do that, Tom Rinkoski, director of Family Life for the Green Bay Diocese, has written materials using the theme "Follow Me."

Rinkoski's themes for the six weeks of Renew 2000 are:
-- A Covenant Is a Promise,
-- Here I am Lord!
-- Counting on Each Other,
-- Coming Home,
-- Written in Our Hearts
-- and The Lord Has Given Me a Well-Trained Tongue.

He says the themes of "Coming Home" and "The Lord Has Given Me a Well-Trained Tongue" fit particularly well into the idea of reconciliation.

Coming home is a metaphor for theology of reconciliation - repairing a broken relationship, he said. One activity in the intergenerational materials for that theme is to read the story, "Coming Home," by Eve Bunting.

It tells about a family traveling to Mexico to visit their roots. "It makes people think about all the places we call home," he says. "And it's about coming into healthy relationships."

After the story, the group is instructed to create personal maps of all the places that are home to them including their house, work place, school, and spiritual home.

That touches the underlying idea of reconciliation, Rinkoski says, by asking " 'How do I know I'm in a right relationship?' Home is where the feelings are."

The sixth week's theme, "The Lord Has Given Me a Well-Trained Tongue," considers the common complaint that it is difficult to say the words, "I am sorry," or "I forgive you." In fact, Rinkoski says, these words are simple to speak.

To demonstrate this with some humor, Rinkoski says he included several tongue twisters members of the group can try out loud.

"We think forgiveness is something a priest does. But once we get our tongue back in shape, we realize the absurdity of saying it's difficult to say, 'I forgive you,' " Rinkoski says.

The second optional activity that week shows how to be brief. "Sometimes we spill out too many words," Rinkoski says.

In the couples' Renew 2000 materials, Rinkoski says he followed the same themes but related them more to the marriage covenant. He says that reconciliation within marriage can be the most difficult because it is such an intimate relationship.

The first week's theme, "A Covenant is a Promise," lays the foundation for understanding reconciliation, especially in marriage.

"Couples come intimately close to understanding the nature of broken covenants in that their love parallels the covenant of God to his people," he says.

For more information on these free materials, phone Rinkoski at (920)437-7531, ext. 8304; or e-mail [email protected].

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1825 Riverside Drive | P.O. Box 23825 | Green Bay, WI 54305-3825
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