Called & Gifted Workshop
Who Am I?
Why Am I Here?
Join members of St. Dominic's parish and people from around the Bay Area as we discover answers to these questions together. The Called & Gifted workshop is a special program that teaches Catholics how to discover their unique spiritual gifts - gifts God gives us all to share with our family, our friends, our workplace, and our community. Through the workshop we learn about our Catholic understanding of these gifts, and how to start the process of discerning the specific gifts God has given us.
After the workshop ended, I realized that my weekend experience was like the first time I wore contact lenses. I have terrible eyesight, but I thought I could see fairly well through my thick glasses. Yet the first time I looked at the world through new lenses, I was dumbfounded! I had never known the intensity of colors, the subtleties of light and shadow, the distinctness of edges, or the depth and beauty of what I saw. And now I was seeing my spiritual journey through 'new lenses'.
-- Francene Stonebraker, St. Dominic's Parishioner, Attendee at the 1999 workshop
Frequently Asked Questions About The Called & Gifted Workshop
What will I really learn through this workshop?
You'll learn about how to differentiate between the gifts God has given you and the talents you've developed over your lifetime. You'll discover that, through your gifts, you experience joy and satisfaction while making a profound impact on the world. You'll take an inventory designed to help you to reflect on your life experiences in light of these gifts. You'll learn the tools of discernment that will help you move forward in confirming the specific gifts you have. After the workshop you'll have the opportunity to sign up for an extended discernment program that will help you move forward with your discernment with the help of others.
Where did this workshop come from?
Sherry Weddell and Fr. Michael Sweeney, O.P., developed the workshop eight years ago. They began by teaching it at Blessed Sacrament, the Dominican parish in Seattle. As the workshop started taking off, they created the Catherine of Siena Institute to help it spread throughout the world, and in fact, it has. You can visit the Catherine of Siena Institute's website for more information.
Who's the primary audience for this workshop?
The workshop is primarily designed for adults, but more spiritually mature teenagers may also be able to benefit from it. Adults in their 20's and 30's will find that this workshop provides great tools for making important life decisions. Older adults will be able to see their life experiences in a new light, clarifying how God is working through them. People of all ages have found it a powerful way to understand God at work in their lives.
Is this mainly about finding ways to volunteer at the parish?
Not at all! In fact, as lay people, the primary place we use our gifts is out in the world. You'll probably discover that you're already using your gifts each day. Through this workshop you'll learn a new language for describing how God is working through you, and new ideas for how you can become an even more effective channel of God's love. We hope you'll come to see your parish as a place that builds you up and supports you as you bring your gifts to others.
What if I can't attend the full workshop?
It's definitely best if you can attend the full workshop. Our past workshops have filled up, forcing us to turn people away, so please only sign up if you can make most of the workshop. If you need to miss Friday night, please contact the parish the week of the workshop to arrange to pick up the materials ahead of time. The Saturday portion of the workshop assumes that you've done the inventory (given on Friday night) before you arrive in the morning.
Can I attend again if I've been before?
Yes! In fact, there's so much great information that many people express that they learn even more the second time around. If you attended a year or two ago this is a great time to go again. The passage of time will have given you a chance to process what you learned in light of your life experiences. By attending again you'll discover important insights that you missed the first time around, allowing you to take the lessons further.
"Come, and you will see."
In the Gospel of John we hear the story of the day that when Andrew and John first saw Jesus. They approached him, and asked where he was staying. Jesus replied, "Come, and you will see." I doubt Andrew and John could have imagined the profound impact that simple invitation would have on their lives. This has been my experience of faith. The greatest growth often comes through accepting simple invitations.
Eight years ago an invitation led me to a Called and Gifted Workshop. I went filled with more questions about faith than I thought I could answer in a lifetime. I'd like to blame my CCD teachers for not giving me a better grasp of faith, but the truth is, I wasn't really paying attention. I came away from the Called & Gifted workshop with as a new understanding of my faith; an understanding that made much more sense than whatever tidbits had slipped through my childhood defenses. I finally had an image of faith that gave me insight into big life questions and struggles. More than a new understanding, I received concrete tools that have given me much greater clarity in jobs, relationships, and every aspect of my life. I can't help but look back in awe at where accepting that simple invitation has taken me.
In our busy lives we all have to make decisions about how we spend our time. I find it hard to put into words, at least words that will fit on this flyer, how much you'll receive from this workshop. The best I can do is pass on the invitation… "Come, and you will see."
-- Scott Moyer, Called & Gifted Teacher
Next workshop date TBD. Please stay tuned to this website or to the bulletin.