Week 12: #LawnChairCatechism : I’m on the Fringe, and that’s OK!

We’re getting to the end of this Summer Book Club. I can’t believe the summer is almost over. Yes, I can. I just saw a tree with red orange leaves yesterday. Who am I kidding?

You know the drill, head on over to the CatholicMom.com #LawnChairCatechism Link up to read other perspectives on this week’s discussion. As always, all of the discussion questions can be found here.

Questions for Discussion this week:

It’s interesting, you know. Gifts. Think about them. Gifts are generally always wanted and the giver enjoys sharing gifts – or in
this case charisms. Weddell points out:

Charisms are ways that you and I are empowered by God to be channels of his love, mercy, beauty, truth, wisdom, healing, and provision for others. The power of God flowing through a charism can help reveal Christ, remove impediments to belief, and encourage others to open their lives to God and receive sanctifying grace through the sacraments. Weddell, Sherry (2012-07-05). Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus (p. 229). Our Sunday Visitor. Kindle Edition.

On the FringeDoesn’t that read to you like something you’d want to tap into? Something you would like to see more of within your personal life, family life and parish life? For me, the answer is a resounding, yes! However, Weddell goes on to share which charisms are generally not particularly welcomed or highly valued yet!

  • Celibacy
  • Discernment of spirits
  • Evangelism (except for youth ministry)
  • Faith
  • Healing
  • Intercessory prayer
  • Knowledge
  • Leadership
  • Missionary
  • Prophecy
  • Teaching
  • Voluntary poverty
  • Writing

But these charisms are welcomed and / or highly valued:

  • Administration
  • Craftsmanship
  • Encouragement
  • Giving
  • Helps
  • Hospitality
  • Mercy
  • Music
  • Pastoring
  • Service
  • Wisdom

We all know that I contribute my time and gifts to the music ministry at my parish as a cantor. I can also add that I contribute as intercessory prayer coordinator for the RCIA group this year – that would check the Evangelism and Intercessory Prayer boxes. Wait a second, I also write, here! Another item on the “not so welcome” list!

In joining the Lay Dominicans in my area, I feel that ticks off Faith, Discernment of Spirits, Knowledge and Teaching. To give you my reasoning for aligning myself with these particular charisms, after RCIA I felt that there was all of this overflow of excitement, and curiosity about and for my faith. How great would it have been to have a mentor of sorts in a Third Order or anyone one that could help me to discern and direct what I was feeling? The journey after RCIA has been a mixed bag of peaks and valleys, complete with loneliness, joy, confusion, darkness and sadness.

You see, when I came into the faith, my sponsor chose not to be there. I had a very lovely man, Tony Springtime we’ll call him because he always wears pastel colored suits, pinch hit for me at the last minute. He is also lovingly referred to Tony Bag-o-donuts, because he always comes with treats to any social event. I am grateful that he was able to do this for me as he had another pilgrim to sponsor, but at the same time felt (and maybe still feel) slighted and left to fend for myself.

Are you seeing a trend emerge in the lists though? Perhaps my feelings of being left to my own devices is because my charisms are more aligned with those charisms that aren’t particularly welcomed – yet. I can feel the momentum shifting in the other direction (sometimes) and get that these marginalized charisms aren’t so on the fringe. Maybe it’s my calling for my parish, to help bring them into a more accepted, sought after and welcomed space.

Someone else will have to pick up celibacy…

See you next week.


5 thoughts on “Week 12: #LawnChairCatechism : I’m on the Fringe, and that’s OK!

  1. I don’t know: everything that comes from God should be counted a s a gift whether I like it or not. Loosing a job, for example, might not be my idea of a gift. However, it could means that God has something else in mind for our family. So, I should except it gratefully and look for His hand in it!


    1. I agree with you on that aspect of gift or rather what we think aren’t gifts, in hindsight and with more perspective are. What would you say from this list are your charisms?


      1. Well…let me see: hospitality, service, intercessory prayer, giving, teaching, evangelism and encouragement. Our family had been giving a Lunch Hour for our parish for the last nine years. That includes shopping, cooking, cleaning and serving. I guess that would count as service, hospitality and giving. I keep a running prayer list for the different needs of our friends, relatives and anyone who asks. Both my husband and I are available to guide, encourage and support new parishioners. Wow…that was a lot of work I am not used to doing or thinking about it…I just do it!


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