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The Mission of the National Service Committee

The Vision and Mission Statements of the National Service Committee reflect the understanding of baptism in the Holy Spirit articulated by Frs. Kilian McDonnell and George Montague in their book, Christian Initiation and Baptism in the Holy Spirit: Evidence from the First Eight Centuries.

The National Service Committee sees itself as a body of leaders in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal who work together to serve the Lord in “renewing the grace of Pentecost in the life and mission of the Church” (Vision Statement). Members are chosen for their “pastoral and visionary gifts”.

The Mission Statement of the National Service Committee is as follows:

The mission of the National Service Committee is to stir into flame the grace of Pentecost within and beyond the Church, to broaden and deepen the understanding that baptism in the Holy Spirit is the Christian inheritance of all, and to strengthen the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

In simple terms the first phrase focuses, as does the Vision Statement, on the grace of Pentecost, recalling the prayer of Pope John XXIII and the Church prior to the Second Vatican Council, “Renew your wonders in our day as if by a new Pentecost”. The grace of Pentecost is meant to capture all that we mean and have experienced in that personal conversion to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the empowerment with the Holy Spirit (see Fanning the Flame, pp. 12-13, 14-15, 26-27). The Committee’s mission is to stir that grace into flame in individuals, in the Church, and beyond the Church.

The second phrase focuses both on the work within the Renewal of deepening our understanding of baptism in the Holy Spirit, as well as the theological work within the Church of demonstrating baptism in the Holy Spirit as integral and normative to Christian initiation and “as the power of personal and communal transformation with all the graces and charisms needed for the upbuilding of the Church and for our mission in the world” (Fanning the Flame, p. 27).

Finally, the third phrase addresses the continuing call of the National Service Committee to strengthen the Catholic Charismatic Renewal so that this grace of Pentecost will not be lost to the Church again, but indeed flourish in ever new and creative ways so that the Church as a whole and individuals will truly be renewed “as if by a new Pentecost”.

Thus, the work of the Service Committee can be grouped into these three areas:

To stir into flame the grace of Pentecost within and beyond the Church

To do this, the Service Committee seeks to create opportunities where the fire and grace of Pentecost can be stirred up such as convening, sponsoring and planning annual National Catholic Charismatic Renewal Conferences. Conference weekends are filled with dynamic praise and worship, excellent teaching and fellowship in the Holy Spirit.

We have published The New Life in the Spirit Seminars Team Manual: Catholic Edition 2000, an evangelistic tool to introduce people to a fuller experience of life in the spirit. It is currently in its sixth printing, having sold over 13,000 copies. [Link]

For Seminar participants we have published A Prayer Journal for Baptism in the Holy Spirit, [Link] a 50-day, seven week spiritual journey which may be used with Life in the Spirit Seminars.

The Service Committee also seeks to relate to and work with other Catholic organizations and movements serving the mission of the Church. We interact with the leadership of a number of movements (including Cursillo, Focolare, Marriage Encounter) and organizations (e.g. Evangelization 2000) in the Church, as well as a number of U.S. Bishops’ offices and committees and the Pontifical Council for the Laity in Rome.

Participation has included planning World Youth Day in Denver (1993), as well as National Lay Forums sponsored by the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on the Laity (1994, 1996), and assisting in the U.S. Bishops’ planning for the Great Jubilee.

Also, in response to Jesus’ prayer in John 17 and the Holy Father’s encouragement in Ut Unum Sint, the Service Committee relates and works with members of other Christian Churches, denominations, bodies and ministries for unity in the Body of Christ and world evangelization.

This commitment has led the NSC to maintain a close working relationship with leaders from over 40 Protestant and Pentecostal Churches and ministries in an umbrella organization called NARSC (North American Renewal Service Committee), and to co-sponsor Celebrate Jesus 2000 in St. Louis as a grand Jubilee event celebrating the 2000th anniversary of Jesus’ birth.

To broaden and deepen the understanding that baptism in the Holy Spirit is the Christian inheritance of all

We believe that this grace of the Holy Spirit is meant for the whole Church. As a result of our convening a pastoral and theological consultation in 1990, the booklet, Fanning the Flame: What does the Baptism in the Holy Spirit Have To Do With Christian Initiation?, edited by Frs. Kilian McDonnell and George Montague, was published. This booklet, available in 12 languages, serves as a theological foundation that establishes baptism in the Holy Spirit as a normative and integral part of Christian initiation and the Church’s life.

It led to the Theological Consultation with theologians not involved in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal held in Boston in 1995 to discuss the thesis of Frs. McDonnell and Montague’s important work on baptism in the Holy Spirit.

To strengthen the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

This is the oldest and most extensive work of the National Service Committee. We do this through bringing Renewal participants together, networking leaders, and leadership training and teaching.


Bringing Renewal Participants Together includes:

Convening the annual National Catholic Charismatic Renewal Conference which provides an opportunity for God’s people to gather in unity to deepen and renew their life in the Spirit.
Click here for information on our most recent conference

Publishing Pentecost Today, which seeks to strengthen Renewal participants’ personal lives and deepen the understanding of the Renewal’s vision and purpose. It is distributed free of charge to Renewal participants and leaders, as well as key Church officials.

Ethnic Outreach: The Charismatic Renewal is flourishing among a number of ethnic groups in the U.S., among them, Filipinos, Haitians, Hispanics, Koreans, Portuguese and Vietnamese. We work with the leadership of these groups so that together we can give united witness to our Church.


Networking Leaders includes:

Leadership Conferences: In the past, the NSC has held a Leaders’ Day prior to the National Catholic Charismatic Renewal Conference. In 2003 the NSC, in collaboration with the Association of Diocesan Liaisons, convened our first National Leaders’ Conference since 1979. These conferences are designed to strengthen the individual leader’s life, as well as to broaden and deepen his or her faith. They are open to all who serve in any leadership capacity in the Renewal or in the Church or who feel called to such service.


NSC Council: A circle of leaders from throughout the country who gathered to pray and seek the Lord’s word for the Renewal and to advise the National Service Committee on its service has existed since 1971. The group was called the Advisory Committee to the National Service Committee.

In January 2000, after several years of prayer and discussion, the National Service Committee decided to reorganize the circle of leaders it gathers and rename it the NSC Council.

The purpose of the NSC Council is to actively support the Mission of the National Service Committee through prayer and counsel, and consequently through service.

The membership is composed of men and women involved in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal who are selected because of their:

  • commitment to the vision of the NSC;
  • gifts and/or expertise; or
  • local, state, regional or national leadership

Each Council member will have a limit of two (2) consecutive terms of three (3) years each. The Council will have at least one in-person meeting per year.

Click here for a listing of all current NSC Council Members.


Partnership with other leadership groups in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal: The National Service Committee seeks to build bridges of understanding and acceptance within the Renewal on a national level by working with the Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on the Charismatic Renewal, the Association of Diocesan Liaisons, the various ethnic national committees, renewal center leadership, prayer groups, covenant communities, ministries, and conferences. The National Service Committee has been involved for several years in annual meetings of the representatives of the leadership groups. On the international level we work with the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS), and the Pontifical Council for the Laity.


Regional Leaders’ Gatherings: Since the Fall of 1998 the National Service Committee has held a series of regional leadership gatherings across the country. Not seeking to replace diocesan leadership meetings, the National Service Committee seeks to gather diocesan liaisons, renewal center directors, covenant community leaders ministries with trans-diocesan influence, ethnic leaders and local leaders of the local (arch)diocese invited by them.

The purpose is to strengthen leaders in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal by building relationships with them within a smaller geographical area; networking them with the National Service Committee and one another; and providing appropriate teaching and ministry.

Resource Center: In addition, we also provide an information resource center for participants of the Renewal and those who want to learn about it.


Leadership training and teaching includes:

Publication of Pentecost Today.

Faith Sharing Material: The National Service Committee promotes the creation of small faith sharing groups within prayer groups and parishes as a primary means of strengthening and deepening the lives of Catholic Christians. To aid and foster the growth of such groups we have published Faith Sharing in Small Groups: The Vision and the Tools.

Growth Seminar: The National Service Committee contracted with Sr. Nancy Kellar, S.C. to pull together a nine-week Growth Seminar in three week modules with tested, practical wisdom for Renewal veterans and newcomers who have experienced a renewed or deepened Life in the Spirit through baptism in the Holy Spirit and participation in a Life in the Spirit or Holy Spirit Seminar. It is entitled: There’s Always More: Expecting New Fire. [Link]

Catholic School of Evangelism: This practical nine-session School of Evangelism trains people in the dynamics of personal evangelism. Bringing Christ To My Everyday World is available in both video and audiotape and is accompanied by an excellent workbook and Leaders’ Guide.

Leadership Training Material: The National Service Committee offers high quality leadership training videotapes and printed materials that can benefit prayer groups, leaders’ teams, diocesan renewal centers and individuals. Included are topics such as the charisms, maintaining vibrant prayer groups, deepening one’s life of Christian service, and unity building.


International Outreach: The National Service Committee also works to strengthen the Catholic Charismatic Renewal worldwide. We do this through our support of the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS) and through the sharing of resources.

The National Service Committee has for years provided financial support to ICCRS for its important work of strengthening the Catholic Charismatic Renewal internationally and for representing the Renewal to the Vatican.

Over the years members and/or consultants to the National Service Committee have been members of ICCRS. Currently, former NSC member and past Chairman, Jim Murphy, is the ICCRS Representative to the U.S. and a member of the NSC Council.

In addition, the NSC receives regular requests from English-speaking African and Asian Catholic Christians for help in providing literature, Bibles, and information on the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. We gladly share as much as we can of what we have with those who ask.

Chariscenter USA. To accomplish its work, the NSC has established Chariscenter USA as its headquarters and as a national office for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

Friends of the National Service Committee.
Lastly, the NSC must continually raise the funds necessary to accomplish its mission. It receives no funding from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Friends of the National Service Committee are those who support the work of the National Service Committee through their financial giving and prayer. We prayerfully ask for your support.

 


 

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