Thank you very much for this. The Sunday after your previous article where I left that comment, God spoke to my wife and I from the pulpit and we had two excellent opportunities to serve dropped on our laps--one tailored for her and one tailored for me (very specifically, in both cases--God is good!). So we decided to make this particular parish our home parish and we spoke to the Priest and got involved right away. Our new acquaintances are not our demographic--my wife and I are in our 30's and most people participating in the Parish life are averaging 65 probably--but we see in this both the potential for our acquaintances to introduce us to other people; and an opportunity to help this parish grow in an age demographic that is clearly available judging by Mass attendance but whom the Parish is not equipped to serve (yet).

We did notice that on first participating in events, people default to treating us as strangers, but my wife was able to break through this and once she did she was one of the gang by the end of her event.

So my wife and I are trying to make ourselves "friendly strangers" to others, broadcasting openness, while we are pursuing these intentional avenues of discipleship that have high potential for friends.

I will add, through all this, my wife and I had a couple really excellent conversations with our priest, and asked him about his needs. I don't know if this tactic will fall anywhere in your planned list, but I realized talking to a priest is a great way to make the unknown, known. He will be aware of organizations and communities around the parish AND he will be able to articulate what would help him the most. Tell him what you need, ask him what he needs. There is sure to be an area where social life and service of the Church align.

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