In the evangelization model the primary focus is the family unit. St. Peter's Families of Faith program addresses the evangelization needs of our parish families. However we are all called beyond our individual families to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Then it would seem to follow that our next step would be reaching out to our neighbors and other parish families. Our parish has been divided into smaller sections based on street and geographical boundaries. These smaller sections will be the basis for our Unity Homes program. Each section, or neighborhood, will be identified by a saint's name and will be led by a family or two within that section.
As a large parish, it is sometimes difficult to meet fellow Catholics and to develop close ties to our parish community. Unity Homes will provide a venue for families to meet their Catholic neighbors and to develop these ties. Each Unity Home group will plan their own programs, events and means of contact. All neighbors (non-Catholics) may be included in some or all events at the discretion of the Unity Home leadership.
The parish will provide the leadership with the names and addresses of all new parish members who move into their area. It is encouraged that the new members be greeted by current neighbors to welcome the family with a card, a simple gift or visit. This welcome will help the family feel a part of the parish and encourage them to become an active part of our parish community. This is evangelization within the neighborhood.
Annual events could be planned to foster the sharing of God's love for one another and would include the entire Unity Homes group. These events could be as simple as a summer softball game or winter sledding. The Unity Homes also gives the leaders an opportunity to encourage faith based dialogue and participation in parish programs such as Adult Faith Formation. Each member is encouraged to draw other members into the planned activities and gatherings so that all will feel a sense of belonging to the Parish neighborhood. The gatherings will vary by the needs of the area and the creativity of the leadership. It is part of the plan to develop a forum for the sharing of ideas among the Unity Homes leadership.
Another important aspect of the Unity Homes is helping our neighbors during times of hardship or crisis. Once the doors to the neighborhood have been opened and friendships have been developed; it will become easy to openly reach out and support one another. This is the model of Christian life that Christ left the apostles. It is in loving one another that we become true Disciples of Christ.