St. Paul Street Evangelization Team(s) organizing in Josephine County — How to get involved…

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“Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious…What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being the Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by man…he himself gives to all men life and breath and everything…In him we live and move and have our being.” — St. Paul preaches to the Athenians (Acts 17:22-28)

Editor Note: Lent is here, and what better alms to offer this world than to join me in offering souls the love of God? Signs are ordered, and I’m currently seeking fellow Catholics from Josephine County to fill positions (see below) within our local chapter of SPSE. For more information you can e-mail me: Jamestevans0@yahoo.com

Founded in May 2012, St. Paul Street Evangelization provides the tools and resources for Catholics to engage the culture in a simple, non-confrontational method of evangelization which involves making themselves available to the public to answer questions about the faith and to pray with those who request it. SPSE has had tremendous growth and now has teams throughout the United States and even internationally, such as in the Philippines and Australia.St. Paul Street Evangelization (SPSE) is a grassroots, non-profit organization, dedicated to responding to the mandate of Jesus to preach the Gospel to all nations by taking the Catholic Faith to the streets. Christ’s call to evangelize was made to every Catholic Christian, and the Second Vatican Council reiterated this need, urging each of the baptized to bring the Gospel, found fully in the Catholic Church, to a culture that has largely reverted to paganism. As an on-the-street Catholic evangelization organization, St. Paul Street Evangelization provides an avenue for people to share the Person of Jesus Christ and the truth and beauty of the Catholic Faith with a hungry culture.

SPSE860683_10200257055406260_1445801472_oBut a person might ask, “How can lay people evangelize the Catholic faith so publicly? Isn’t that the job of priests and bishops?” The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Lay people also fulfill their prophetic mission by evangelization, ‘that is, the proclamation of Christ by word and the testimony of life.’ For lay people, ‘this evangelization acquires a specific property and peculiar efficacy because it is accomplished in the ordinary circumstances of the world’” (CCC 905). As a lay apostolate, St. Paul Street Evangelization works in fidelity and obedience to the Catholic Church and her Magisterium.

SPSE28038_4564991599343_1160333419_nArmed with a simple sign, pamphlets and Rosaries, SPSE evangelists take to the streets, going wherever people are gathered – on a street corner, at a festival, or even at a football game. Our teams always begin in prayer. Unlike some forms of street evangelism which seek to forcibly proselytize those passing by (for example, by yelling, displaying confrontational signs, or preaching loudly at no one in particular), SPSE employs a non-confrontational method, maintaining a peaceful presence and allowing people to approach if they choose. Initial contact is limited to a friendly greeting and an offer of a free Rosary, but the evangelist never tries to force anyone to stop and talk.

St. Paul Street Evangelization has found this non-confrontational approach to be very effective at strengthening the faith of practicing Catholics, bringing back into the Faith fallen away Catholics, and clearing up misconceptions about the Faith held by non-Catholics. While it is the mission of SPSE to work with God for the conversion of the whole world to the Catholic Faith, SPSE evangelists recognize that it is only their job to plant seeds, and in the end, it is up to God to make those seeds grow.

SPSE542236_3665937856712_676103734_nThe goal of St. Paul Street Evangelization is not to win arguments but to share the love of Jesus Christ with a hurting culture that is seeking truth. SPSE recognizes that to be an effective witness for Christ and His Church, one must seek to live a holy life. As Pope Paul VI wrote in Evangeli Nuntiandi, “For the Church, the first means of evangelization is the witness of an authentically Christian life … ‘Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses’” (41). To this end, SPSE seeks a membership of evangelists who take their Catholic Faith seriously and are striving for personal sanctity.

When out on the streets, the evangelists of SPSE share the hope that is in them so that the world sees the salvation of God through the Church that He founded. They do not evangelize because they have done any great thing, but because God has done a great work in them, and for that, they are humbled. A person does not need to be a theologian or professional apologist to be an effective evangelist. He only needs to have a heart for Jesus Christ and His Church and be willing to share that with others.

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The St. Paul Street Evangelization national office offers:

Team Development and Coordination – Visit the Locations page to find a team near you. If there is not a team in your area, or if you would prefer to start a new one of your own, SPSE will help you coordinate your efforts with other local evangelists and provide all of the resources and information that you need to get started.

Online Evangelist Training and Certification – SPSE offers a training course in catechesis and evangelization to help you learn the language of the Church and what she expects of her evangelists. SPSE certifies its evangelists who have completed the training and have experience out on the street. SPSE encourages all Catholics to take these catechetical courses, even if they do not intend to become a street evangelist. SPSE also offers live training for groups that are interested.

Materials for local teams – SPSE provides signs, Rosaries, CDs, business card templates, and other materials to local teams for a minimal suggested donation.
Free printable pamphlets – Teams have access to more than 20 pamphlets on the Catholic faith that will help them with their evangelization efforts.
Website – Every local team is provided with a free website to help the members to coordinate their efforts.

Media – Local teams can access press releases, public service announcements, television and radio interviews, archived news stories, and other media related resources at the national website.

Evangelization and Catechetical Blog A team of evangelists writes on timely topics addressing issues related to evangelization, catechesis, apologetics, and the Church.

Information about SPSE – Visit the website, watch the YouTube videos, read stories of street evangelists in action, find out more about the organization, and join the Facebook page.

Prayer Warrior Group Evangelists can rely on the support of our prayer group of hundreds of Catholics who intercede for their intentions and their work on the streets.

Apologetics Group Evangelists can sharpen their apologetics skills by joining thousands of other Catholics in the SPSE apologetics group on Facebook.
Get Involved Today!

If you would like to get involved with a SPSE in your area, or would like to learn more about starting a team of your own, visit the the Get-Involved page and fill out the form. St. Paul Street Evangelization also encourages every Catholic to join the conversation by following them on Facebook and Twitter, and by joining thousands of other Catholics in their Prayer Warrior and Apologetics Groups on Facebook where you can learn more about the Holy Catholic Faith and pray for the conversion of the culture.

Below is a list of (local) SPSE Team Leadership Positions…

Team Director — Jim Evans (e-mail me for more information: jamestevans0@yahoo.com)

The Team Director is responsible for the overall leadership of the local SPSE team. His or her responsibility is to recruit team leaders and other Catholics willing to get involved with the apostolate. At first, the Team Director may be doing the bulk of the coordination, although one or two other people may help. This is a fine way to start but the Director should always be looking to fill the other leadership positions with capable Catholics. The team director must:

Take the SPSE Certification Courses and complete ongoing monthly training modules. This may be done at one’s own pace. All current Team Directors will have a 30 day window to complete the first series of certifications. New leaders will need to complete certification before they can evangelize as an official SPSE team.
Make a profession of faith and take the Oath of Fidelity as defined by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for those assuming an office exercised in the name of the Church: http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdfoath.htm
Fill leadership positions with capable Catholics.
Order signs, pamphlets, Rosaries, and the other materials necessary to start the local SPSE team.
Check the local team website for accuracy and make sure the get-involved form is working properly.

Station Leader

A station leader is responsible for leading the team out on the street. All evangelization activities in public by an SPSE local team must have a Station Leader or Team Director present at all times. Many teams will have several stations set up in various locations on any given day. Each one of these stations must have a Station Leader present or nearby. Station Leaders must:

Take the SPSE Certification Courses and complete ongoing monthly training modules.
Make a profession of faith and take the Oath of Fidelity as defined by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for those assuming an office exercised in the name of the Church.
Keep track of materials for his or her station and restock when necessary.
Be responsible for the teams when they are out in public, making sure that no laws are being broken and that team members are representing the Faith with fidelity and charity.

SPSE Certified Evangelist

An SPSE Certified Evangelist is a Catholic who would like to get involved with a local team and share the Faith with others but who does not want to take on the responsibility of being a Station Leader. An SPSE Certified Evangelist must:
Take at least the first two SPSE training modules and receive certification. Ongoing monthly training is not required. A yearly review will be necessary to keep your certification current.
Make a profession of faith and take the Oath of Fidelity as defined by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for those assuming an office exercised in the name of the Church.

Evangelist

An Evangelist is a faithful Catholic who has not taken any certification courses but wishes to participate with the apostolate by sharing the Faith on the streets anyway. An Evangelist must agree to the SPSE Code of Conduct and Membership Agreement and evangelize with SPSE only when a Team Leader or SPSE Certified Evangelist is nearby.

Community Relations Coordinator

This person is responsible with reaching out to local churches, the community, and the media. The goals are to create awareness of and support for the apostolate, attract new team members, and build awareness of the need for ongoing faithful prayer support. Some examples would be:

Contacting Parishes to get inserts placed in the bulletin, to speak after a Mass or event, or set up a table in the vestibule after Mass. Displaying a sign. Having interested Catholics write their name, email, and phone number on a signup sheet for further information.
Contact local Knights of Columbus and other Catholic Lay Organizations to find out ways to get them involved.
Contacting the local Catholic radio stations to get them to do interviews with local team members and to play the Public Service Announcements.
Organizing fundraising events, such as potluck dinners.
Keeping an eye on the community calendar for evangelization opportunities: a parade, a public fair, farmers markets, sporting events, a pro-life conference, and so on
Watching for Catholic events occurring in the diocese and requesting a table

Team Communications Coordinator

The Communications Coordinator is responsible for keeping everyone on the local team informed about upcoming events and outings. The coordinator should:
Maintain a list of evangelists and other contacts
Contact by telephone or email all evangelists in advance of outings and get commitments from people for going out
Find out what day(s) would work best for each team member
Maintain a schedule of who is going out for different events
Follow up on leads received through the website, email, signup sheets, or other contacts made at booths or events arranged by the SPSE Community Relations Coordinator.

Prayer Outreach Coordinator

The job of the Prayer Outreach Coordinator is to contact all the local religious communities, churches, and prayer groups and ask them to pray for our apostolate, our leadership, evangelists, and those we evangelize, both locally and on the national level. Our prayer is that God make grow the seeds we plant and bring about many reversions and conversions to the Catholic Faith.

SPSE Prayer Warrior

An SPSE Prayer Warrior is a very important team member. Leaders should actively seek them out and recruit them. There are several types of SPSE Prayer Warrior activity. An SPSE Prayer Warrior may be someone who wants to join us on the streets but feels called only to praying while out there, rather than engaging in active conversations. An SPSE Prayer Warrior may also be someone who dedicates a certain amount of prayer and sacrifice for the intention of the team’s successful activities. An SPSE Prayer Warrior may also be someone who gathers with others and prays in a chapel or elsewhere at the same time that the team is out on the street. No training is necessary for this position.

Spiritual Advisor

Each team should try to find a trusted priest who is willing to act as their spiritual advisor. The team should meet with him on occasion for direction and support for their local activities.

Welcome!

Welcome to your local chapter of St. Paul Street Evangelization.

St. Paul Street Evangelization is a grassroots, non-profit organization, dedicated to responding to the mandate of Jesus to preach the Gospel to all nations by taking our Catholic Faith to the streets. We do this in a non-confrontational way, allowing the Holy Spirit to move in the hearts of those who witness our public Catholic presence.

Christ’s call to evangelize was made to every Catholic Christian, and the Second Vatican Council reiterated this need, urging each of the baptized to bring the Gospel, found fully in the Catholic Church, to a culture that has largely reverted to paganism. As an on-the-street Catholic evangelization organization, St. Paul Street Evangelization provides an avenue for you to share the Person of Jesus Christ and the truth and beauty of the Catholic Faith with a hungry culture. Click Get Involved on the menu to find out how you can help.

To learn more about St. Paul Street Evangelization at the national level, click here.