Adult Lifelong Learning & Formation
No matter what stage of life we are in, there are always new things to discover and learn about ourselves and the world around us. In circles of faith, we find ourselves reflecting upon the mystery of God in our lives and how, as disciples of Christ and members of His Body, we can best bring the love of God to those among us and beyond us.
At Ascension, a committee of parishioners meets monthly to plan parish opportunities for faith growth, to coordinate with members of other Ascension ministries and promote their offerings, and to communicate opportunities that are available at other churches and institutions in our local area and Chicagoland. Rooted in Christ's commission to "Go and make disciples from all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Fath, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commended you," the Adult Lifelong Learning & Formation committee plans and provides a variety of programming.
There are a number of ways to learn of upcoming programs. In addition to our Sunday bulletin, The Dome, our weekly parish newsletter arriving on Mondays will keep you abreast of not only the opportunities offered here at Ascension, but also activities offered by other parishes and organizations. Sign up for the newsletter HERE. We frequently receive information on programming by Chicagoland parishes, universities, Catholic-focused groups and retreat centers, which we post on our online Around Town Bulletin Board.
Some of the ongoing groups Ascension provides are:
Book Reading and Discussion is offered at various times. Books and opportunities for discussion will be published in the bulletin.
Christian Family Movement (CFM) (various times and homes) is a new group at Ascension. Based on the “Observe-Judge-Act" format, couples come together in small group to pray, reflect on a Scripture, and then look at realities in our world through the eyes of a Christian. Together they wrestle with social and moral issues and determine how they should “act” in light of their observations and conversation.
Contemplative Prayer and Meditation (Saturday AM at 8:30 AM) shares a reading for private meditation and then provides a shared discussion time for group reflection.
Exploring our Catholic Faith (Sundays after the 9 and 11 AM Masses during Lent) takes place for 10 minutes after the conclusion of Mass. Assorted topics related to Church teaching and our Church building are offered by a variety of Staff and parishioners.
Lectionary and Bible study (Thursdays at 9 AM) reads and reflects on the upcoming Sunday readings as well as individual books of the Bible.
Living Your Strengths Workshops (offered at different times during the year) provide insight into one’s “Top Five” as discovered through the Clifton Strengths finder. By coming to understand our strengths, we are better able to use our talents to further the kingdom of God.
Men’s Spirituality (3rd Saturday of the month) provides an opportunity for men to gather and discuss the Sunday Scriptures in light of their own journeys of faith.
Moms Faith Sharing Circle (one evening per month) welcomes women at all stages of motherhood to enter into deeper conversations and prayer within a safe and supportive environment.
Retreats and Mornings of Reflection (offered one or more times during the year) provide the time and space to “come away for a while.” Very often these mornings focus on an aspect of an upcoming liturgical season or on a theme the parish has been studying/reflecting upon as a whole.
Small faith sharing groups (Lent) provide an opportunity to gather in parishioner’s homes and reflect on the upcoming Sunday Scripture. By sharing stories of faith in light of the Scriptures, parishioners come in touch with the movement of the Spirit within the lives of their fellow pilgrims.
Speakers (varies throughout the year) may provide a single session or may offer a series for more in depth coverage of a particular topic. Often these are co-sponsored with other Ascension groups.
Women’s Spirituality Group (3rd Thursday of the Month in September through May) selects a book to read over the year and spends time in discussion and faith sharing particularly in light of being a woman.