September 8th, 2012

Encounter 2012 is upon us!


ABOUT ENCOUNTER 2012
Every ENCOUNTER presents an opportunity for change.

An encounter is described as a ‘coming together,’ a face to face meeting, an experience, which may be unexpected and sudden.

Consider the unexpected spiritual encounters with God related through Scripture; accounts of Abraham and Sarah, Moses, David, Samuel, Elijah, and Jeremiah; Mary, Joseph, the Apostles, the centurion, the woman at the well, the blind man, the paralytic, the possessed, the adulteress, the myhrr-bearing women, and on and on. Their sudden and unexpected encounters with the living God resulted in each experiencing a personal change, a metanoia, and a call to discipleship; a burning desire, a commitment to spread the good news and good works of their God.

There are so many examples throughout church history and present times of encounters—those face-to-face meetings, sudden or unexpected experiences– with the living God. Contemporary society may refer to these as “Aha!” moments. But, when guided by the Spirit of love and the eyes of our hearts, God is encountered in the poor, the lonely, the hungry, the sick, the dying, the imprisoned, the orphans, the widows, the undereducated, the addicted, the abused, the homeless, the rejected and the persecuted. These encounters result in God’s people experiencing a personal change and the call to discipleship, with the desire, determination and commitment to become God’s eyes and heart, His hands and feet, His love and mercy. By sharing the love we receive from God, we act on our call to ministry. Led by the Spirit, this is spiritual discipleship.

One may ask, “Is a lay person really called to discipleship and to be about God’s work?” Paul guides us with these words, “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,…and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.” (1 Cor 12:13). And so by virtue of our baptism we are all called to discipleship, members of the royal priesthood, anointed in the oil of chrismation and sent forth as workers in Christ’s vineyard, not alone, but as co-workers. “All you who have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. Alleluia!”

ENCOUNTER 2012 of the Eastern Catholic Churches invites us—each one of us—to be open to our call to spiritual discipleship through the theme “Together in Christ” and with the purpose of exploring “clergy and laity together in the vineyard of Christ” with “Unity in Mission; Diversity in Ministry.” In Romans 12: 4-8, Paul tells us, “For as in one body we have many parts, and all the parts do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them: if prophecy, in proportion to the faith; if ministry, in ministering; if one is a teacher, in teaching; if one exhorts, in exhortation; if one contributes, in generosity; if one is over others, with diligence; if one does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”

Encountering God, personal metanoia, service through discipleship, co-worker in the vineyard of Christ—this is the promise of ENCOUNTER 2012 of the Eastern Catholic Churches. Many are called, will you be among the chosen? Will you accept the invitation to…ENCOUNTER?

ENCOUNTER 2012: Eastern Catholic Churches “Together in Christ” is a unique Conference embracing the entire Church family, bishops, clergy, religious and laity, who through baptism, share in the priestly, prophetic and royal office of Christ.” The Eastern Catholic Bishops of the U.S.A. invite all seekers to come and experience ENCOUNTER. Choose the most convenient location and date.
 


CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
Thursday and Friday of the Conference are reserved for clergy due to Liturgical obligations Saturday and Sunday. The Clergy Conference, which begins Thursday with registration from 1 to 2 p.m., includes prayer services, sessions, vendor visits and hospitality. The conference concludes Friday 2 p.m. Topics for the sessions are the same as the main conference.

The Main Conference, for bishops, clergy, religious and laity, begins Friday at 5 p.m. with registration and hospitality. Registration will begin again Saturday at 8:00 a.m, for those arriving. A continental breakfast will be available until time of prayer. The opening prayer service is at 9:45 a.m. The day includes sessions, visits to vendor booths, meals, prayer and hospitality. The topics of the sessions include: Who is Church? Activity of the Royal Priesthood, The ‘How’ and ‘Why’ of Lay Leadership: Action—Put on Christ, and, Blueprint for Church Growth. Sunday begins with Matins, Divine Liturgy and the keynote address at brunch—a charge to ‘Servant Leadership: Be all you can be!” Liturgical services will be according to the sacred-uniqueness of the faith traditions of the various Eastern Churches.
 


CONFERENCE LOCATIONS
MID-WEST: Cleveland, Ohio
EAST: Hillsborough, New Jersey
WEST: El Segundo, California
 


HOTEL INFORMATION
MID-WEST September 20-23, 2012
Holiday Inn Cleveland South Independence
6001 Rockside Rd., Independence, OH 44131
Rooms: $89.00/night 216-524-8050

EAST October 11 – 14, 2012
St. Mary Byzantine Catholic Center
1900 Brooks Blvd., Hillsborough, NJ 08844
Rooms: Days Inn (½ mile from St. Mary)
$59.99/night 908-685-9000

WEST November 1-4, 2012
Hacienda Hotel (at LAX Airport)
525 N.Sepulveda Blvd. El Segundo, CA 90245
Rooms: $69.00/night 310-615-0015/800-421-5900

Contact hotel directly for room reservations. Use group name Encounter for special rate.
 


REGISTER ON-LINE
Conference registration and payment will be accepted on-line at the below links or registration may be by mail with the brochure registration form and payment sent to the regional coordinator at the indicated address. Brochures will be available at all Eparchial parishes, regional coordinator offices and on-line.

MID-WEST
EAST
WEST

Fee for the conference is $75 for individuals; $50 per person in groups of 5 or more. Reservations for hotel rooms are separate at nominal rates (see brochure or website for information).
 


DOWNLOADS
Encounter 2012 Brochure
Mid-West Conference Schedule
East Conference Schedule
West Conference Schedule